Spread the Love [Blog Tour]


Jamie Bonilla  is not only a wildly creative person, but I am lucky enough to call her a friend. I have mentioned her before, as she wrote the foreword-that-is-not-a-foreword, (as I possibly unreasonably requested, ahem,) for my book. She blew me away with her words, and everything else she writes is just as true and beauty-filled. When she asked me if I wanted to participate in this blog tour, I hemmed and hawed, like I do, then said yes. I'm not sure I can say no to her. (Don't test that theory!) Alright, let's go to it!

1. What are you currently working on?

After releasing my e-book, Book of Hours: In Shadow and Sun, I haven’t had a lot to show for my work. My next goal is working towards creating consistent content for my website, while thoroughly enjoying the process. I have been busy behind the scenes, creating content for several different future endeavors, researching tools to help improve my writing, blogging, social media experience, and collaborating with a lot of other artists in my varied interests.

Friends, writing is a community effort- I want all of you to be well aware of it- nobody creates in a vacuum and no writer is an island. If we must call it platform-building, I want you all to know, there is always room on the “platform” for another. Always. Don’t let anyone sell you short or tell you the boats have all sailed.

Let me say, though, it has to happen organically, the way a tree grows and spreads out its branches while sending down roots. The tree is a home, a shade, a producer of oxygen, and it has absolutely no shame dwelling in a forest and being one of many. Here is my community, and it is full of ambitious women who all believe in and encourage one another. The growth happening here is awe-inspiring.

2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?

Why is it so important to be different? Oh, I don’t know, it’s probably fun to be royalty in one little corner of the world, but I think manipulating the sparkle of our one-up on that-guy-over-there is overplayed. There is room for likeness as well as difference. They are not good or bad, but neutral. What you do with it is your job. Just be who you are, whether or not that is like someone else. Be true to your desires. That is what I am striving to do. That is where I find my delight. I guess you could say I’m a treasure hunter, and the treasure I seek is not the kind of thing you want to hoard, but rather a joy to be shared.

I will say this again as I have said many times before. My word for this year is “enough.” It’s the best kind of freedom to realize that the “ladder of success” is an illusion, that “being seen” means you see yourself and your own value, and best of all, you don’t have to keep striving to prove yourself anymore. I realized it has never been about the proving; that was just a distraction. It has always and ever been about being your true self, and not waiting for the approval of others. Approval is subjective, and always a moving target. I’ve never been more relieved to drop out of a game. I’m done with the raging, the hand-wringing, and the never-satisfied approach in seeking a larger audience. My work must happen naturally or not at all, for my Muse would run and hide, and I haven’t time for that game, either.

I want to be content and I want to have fun. Please tell me that is not “different,” because I hope you feel the same way. That would be truly delightful.

3. Why do you write/create what you do?

I write because I love to write. I create for the same reason. Why wait to be what we love? I may not be excellent at everything, but I enjoy the learning process. I enjoy trying new things. I thrive on writing poetry and using music and images to promote inspiration. You might say I’m a gardener. Anything that makes me grow, that sharing with others can help them grow, that’s where you’re going to find me. I want to plant ideas, dreams, hope, and creative energy all with the purpose of making things grow. It’s life-giving, inside and out.

4. How does your writing/creating process work?

My short answer is this: the universal formula of love. Love is the driving force behind my creative process. The process is but the shell. Dig deeper, and find the core. Find what makes your heart sing, your mind feel at rest, and your gut confirm the yes.

Long answer: There is not a manual, no step-by-step plan, no check-list. Not that I don’t make lists, steps, and plans, but they are the tools to assist, not the motivation. Each project is different. The only way to keep the momentum going is to love what you do and do what you love. Don’t say “shh, Inspiration, I’ll get to you in a sec, but first I have to…” Always say yes right away, or write her a love note at least, saying “here’s what I’m thinking, and we’ll talk more in a bit.” Never send her away empty-handed. She’ll be harder to find next time. She is as impulsive as you aren’t. Don’t let her slip away while you are busy checking ten more things off the duty list.

Hanging out in my casual, usual workspace.

Hanging out in my casual, usual workspace.

Time to wrap things up. Please note, if I sound bossy, it’s because I care. Ask my sisters, when I give them free advice. ;) In the world of writing, there are a lot of voices saying a lot of different things, and they/we are all entitled to form our own conclusions. I’m telling you what has and has not worked for me. I’m sharing from the heart, because I have seen too many people throw in the towel because someone made them believe they weren’t up to snuff. I did that to myself one time, but that’s another story. And another reason why you need community. That would be my non-negotiable rule of writing. There is no reason not to have one. There is no reason to go it alone. It works best when you have some travel companions- or fellow ear-shatterers in the roller coaster- however you see this adventure.

If you love this blog tour as much as I do, I have some friends whose own tours are coming soon. Next up? A delightful mix of wisdom and energy for whom I have all the admiration and adoration: Gayl Wright, Esther Emery, and Caiobhe. I can't wait!

Jamie Bagley