Tina Welling is one of those transformative writers for me. Reading her words peeled back layers of reality and aloud the path I had wandered many times before to take on new shimmering meaning. I am truly honored to share with you her interview today!
Tina Welling is the author of WRITING WILD, Forming a Creative Partnership with Nature, published by New World Library. Her three novels are published by the Penguin Group: Crybaby Ranch, Fairy Tale Blues, and Cowboys Never Cry. Welling’s essays have been published in Shambhala Sun, The Writer, Body & Soul, and other national magazines, as well as four anthologies. She conducts creative writing and journal keeping workshops around the country, is a public speaker, and a long time faculty member of the Jackson Hole Writers Conference. Welling resides in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She can be contacted through her website: WWW.TinaWelling.com
In your latest book you write about writing in a really magnificent fresh way. Tell me what language is to you? What it feels like? How it moves? How do you live in/through language?
Language labels experiences and perceptions for me, which helps to make them conscious. What we bring into the light of consciousness we can use; what remains in the dark uses us. For example, often young children do not have the language to express their emotions – to bring them into the light of awareness for communication or more especially for processing. So language to me is the art of bringing awareness to our lives. If we notice how attention moves from the inner to the outer and back again – like breathing – then we can align ourselves with a kind of organic pulse at work in the natural world. When I put language to that pulse, my experience of aliveness is enhanced, along with my realization of it. I feel more alive, more conscious, and more awake. From there, wonderful connections are made that educate and delight me.
What is your relationship to intuition? How has it led you here, where you stand today? Where is it leading you? What is it whispering?
Intuition led me to begin and complete the process of creating my book, Writing Wild, when my agent at the time, along with all my own rationale, urged me not to. I followed the quiet inner beckoning, chapter by chapter, through the manuscript to its end.
Today I still argue with my intuition, finding it more comfortable at times to work with intellectual reasoning due to its concrete exactness. I know, however, that what is intuitively true for me often offers no immediate proof, yet is eventually discovered to be everlasting in its alignment with my authentic self.
Describe a time when you walked through the doors of passage? What did it feel like? What did you learn?
Before I was published I felt as though I was living a double life. I loved writing, I spent a lot of time doing it, yet I kept it a secret. I knew most people’s first response to me stating I was a writer would be to ask about publications. And I couldn’t say that I had none. Until, one day I realized I needed to stand up for myself. I was showing up for myself and what I loved by writing hours every day, now I needed to stand up for myself and claim it. I did and, sure enough, people asked if I was published. I said, “No, but I really like writing and spend a lot of time doing it.” I let them know this way that I was serious about my work and I let myself know that I was not feeling shame for the lack of publications.
How has being female affected your journey?
I needed to move through our culture’s suggestion that as a woman I should set aside my own life in order to help others live theirs. It was quite a struggle for me as a mother and as the wife of a talented artist.
Tell me how you rise up in fullness?
I pay attention, I make choices that lead to the greatest sense of aliveness and I learn from all the wise teachers that come my way.
What is pulling you forward?
A desire to become more and more awake, thereby enjoying greater aliveness, the very thing we are designed to experience.
What lights you up? Turns you on? Makes your heart quicken? What are you saying a big YES to these days?
Rain, the moon, wind storms, aspen leaves, ideas, smiles, challenges, my porch swing, the song of the Evening Grosbeak on the very top of my Engelmann Spruce, catkins, red willow wands, waves, light reflected anywhere.
“Honoring the body wisdom that I believed was pushed down below the neck and not given voice.” -Writing Wild pg. 55
How are you honoring the wisdom within your own body in this season of your life?
I listen to my body and act on its advice. I no longer feel interested in rushing or pushing past comfort levels (unless in small increments to increase strength and flexibility) or sleeping less than I want or eating more than I need. I take big breaths and offer gratitude for this human experience.
“Questions open new space.” -Writing Wild pg. 29
What are some of your favorite questions to ask when you are bringing a story from the dark to the light?
I go for the opposites: what is the attraction or abrasion between characters – in life as well as in fiction? How does the light of the storyline work with the dark factors? What can I do to add humor to the situation? And what might I offer in the way of insight?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild precious life?
That’s a line from a Mary Oliver poem that I love, so I’ll answer from another of her poem’s I admire:
Tell about it.”
Pick up your copy of Writing Wild, it’s sooooo good!
Come join Tina Welling and Janet Hubbard at Willow Creek Ranch for a weekend of Writing Workshops September 13th through the 19th, 2015!
*Two 2-hour writing workshops daily.
*Journaling walks with Tina Welling.
*Advice on publishing and much, much more!! Private message Tina Welling for more details!