How long did it take to write THIS TIME I DANCE! ?
It took me over 12 years to write this book, probably because it took me that long to really live what I was writing about and I didn't want to just put something out there before I'd lived it. I think it also took me that long to fully give myself permission to be a writer. All the wondering about whether or not I could write, should write, and would write, took up a lot of time and got in the way of writing!
Why did you write this book?
I wanted to read the story of someone who really honored their gifts and put them into the world---what they thought, chose, felt, wished for, and how they faced fear, depression, the judgment of others, and horrendous self-doubt. I was tired of reading experts and easy steps. I wanted someone to tell me how they got through all the emotions that come up and found their way through murky territory. So I wrote that book. I wrote it to talk myself into creative centeredness and boldness and I wrote it for everyone else.
What do you hope that readers "get" from the book?
I wanted to create a "paper mentor" for people, a person in your life that knew how it was to walk in your shoes and believed that you could walk in them and even dance in them. I wanted readers to see that every creative person or person who goes out on their own in any unconventional way has doubts, fears, and often no clue about how guided and gifted they are. I want readers to identify with me, because I am mortal and ordinary and also have access to wondrous abilities---and so do they. It takes courage and conviction to follow your own lights and I wanted people to feel less alone and silly. I want my readers to know that they are part of a noble undertaking and they are not "crazy" for doing things differently. They are called.
What was the hardest part of writing the book?
Believing in it. For so long I just wanted to finish it so I could have this dream in final form and show someone, "look what I did!" But it took forever and forever and it felt like feathers and jello, really insubstantial. I was so worried that I'd never finish and it would never be real.
How did you come up with the title THIS TIME I DANCE?
While I was practicing law, I felt emotionally like I had all these fragments of glass in my body and that it would hurt to move in any direction. I wanted to be free. I wanted to dance. Then at one point I wrote a therapeutic, independence-affirming poem about an ex-boyfriend. And in the poem I said "This time I won't dance for love. This time I dance with love." And I thought that phrase applied well to my career feelings too. I also liked the idea of dancing this time, instead of next time. I've often thought about things, next time I'll do it differently. And "this time" kind of makes you claim it now!
If you had to describe yourself as a writer...
I think I'm part Rumi, sublime Persian poet, and part Woody Allen. There's the part of me that knows this graceful way, and then there's the sheepish and self-effacing me. Others have also said that I'm like Julia Cameron and Marianne Williamson put together, which I consider a wonderful blend.