Get instant access to the free writers workshop mentioned in this video by becoming a LitHabits VIP:
How to Beat "Has Somebody Written This Before?!" Syndrome
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Interview with Poet & Author Melissa Reeser Poulin
[Heads up! This transcript has been edited for clarity and ease of reading. For a verbatim transcript, click the CC icon to turn on captions.]
Hello! My name is Renee Long, a creative writer and founder of the LitHabits Writers Workshop. WELCOME to this week's video broadcast for the LitHabits Blog!
This broadcast is very very special to me because this week I'm interviewing an immensely talented poet and a dear friend of mine, Melissa Reeser Poulin.
Melissa Reeser Poulin is the author of Rupture, Light from Finishing Line Press and co-editor of the anthology Winged: New Writing on Bees. Her poems and essays can be found in Relief Journal, Entropy Magazine, Writers Resist, Ruminate Magazine, Hip Mama, Coffee + Crumbs, among other journals. She writes a newsletter and blogs at melissareeserpoulin.com.
For any of you who have struggled to integrate your writing life into daily life, family life, and your other creative interests, this interview is for YOU. Melissa is one of the most curious, creative, and nurturing people I know, and you'll see from this interview she has a lot more going on than just writing poems. She is the epitome of a life-long learner––diving into biology, acupuncture, community development––and it all informs her creative process. In this interview, we talk about
How it's okay to "write less" and let go of the guilt of not writing "enough."
How we writers need to ditch our "should" and be kinder to ourselves.
We talked about how she deleted ALL of her social media accounts while remaining a fierce advocate for the benefits of community.
And you'll learn how to create a narrative arch out of a collection of poems
And so much more!
It's always an honor to spend time with Melissa and benefit from her wisdom, and I'm delighted to share this interview with you. Without further ado, here's my chat with Melissa Reeser Poulin.
Hello! We are here today with the lovely Melissa Poulin. She is an amazing writer that I've known for quite a few years and one of my dearest, dearest, dearest friends and the leader, or facilitator, of my beloved writer's group.
Welcome, Melissa. We are so glad to have you here!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing?
Melissa Reeser Poulin:
Hi everybody, and thank you, Renee, for having me. I just think you are a rockstar for doing this, and being able to do a video interview at all is kind of magical to me.
I'm Melissa. I have a new book of poetry out. I write mostly poetry and essays. I've been writing since I was a little girl. I have a couple of degrees in creative writing, and in the last couple of years, I've had two amazing kiddos, and I've also gone through some pretty major injury and physical events that have kind of shifted my path.
So now I'm heading down the road of becoming an acupuncturist, which I'm very excited about. But, also, still continuing to do writing, which is just part of who I am and has been since I was little.
One of the things I love about you is that you have all of these different interests, and yet still find time to get the work done and be consistent, and publish a book, which is amazing: Rupture, Light. Everybody get it! It's so, so amazing. It's poetry balm for the soul.
So, first––and this kind of ties back to what you were talking about in all these different things that you're involved with––what would you say is one non-writing habit that's made a positive impact on your writing practice?
Going back to school has actually had a pretty positive impact on my writing practice. Becoming a mom has really shifted the way that I think about practice at all. What can a writing practice look like in five minutes, or ten minutes, or fifteen minutes? You know, kind of squished in around nap times and stuff? Adding on top of that, now I'm going to use a lot of those precious extra moments that we have working with my family to figure out where the time comes from for me to go back to school.
I'm taking these pretty intensive, for me, science courses. I haven't been in a science classroom since I was sixteen years old, so I’m having to relearn how to be a student in that setting. I've been a student of writing as an adult, and I'm having to face a lot of fears around science, and relearn how my mind works, how I learn.
Those things have been really good for me and kind of toughening me up a bit so when I sit down and I make time to write and work on my writing projects, I'm already in this other gear of “I can do this” and “I have to be intentional about this.”
This is the time that I have for it, and there will be no other time for it. You know what I mean? If I want to pass this test, I have to study, even if I want to go on Facebook or watch Gossip Girl or do the dishes or whatever. No, I have to study the endocrine system because that is my test on Tuesday.
It’s the same with writing. I have two hours. My husband is watching the kids so I can do this writing stuff that's so important to me. I'd better do it. I think that's created additional urgency and boundaries around writing and time.
Absolutely. And it sounds like you've developed that inner muscle––that inner grit muscle and willpower––by being involved in all these different things and tapping on those areas of your brain that spark your interests. Like you said, it creates that sense of urgency.
I think it's easy for writers to get burnt out, but if you have that attitude of endless curiosity and “the time is now.” We don't have any more time after we die, right? We only have a limited number of years here on earth. Now is the time if this is the work that we're choosing to do.
In hearing you talk about that, the other thing I notice is that you're choosing it. You're saying yes to it, rather than being like, "Oh, I'm just so tired," or, "I'm burnt out," or, "I'm just exhausted," which we all, regardless of where we are in life, we all feel at certain times like we don't want to get up early or stay up late to do the work that we love, but we have to choose it if that's what we want out of our lives, right? I love that. Thank you for sharing.
I will say that I do write a lot less right now in this season of life. It's been a process for me to not feel anxious about that. Even before I was in school, and before other stuff that changed the way that I do life happened. I felt like I should be writing the same amount that I was before I had kids. Or whatever the “should” was.
“Writing has to look this particular way.”
“I have to have this specific number of things written or published”
Or who knows? It wasn't like I had any kind of metrics in my mind about what writing should look like, but there was still this heavy sense of should, you know? Maybe it's getting older and having kids, and maybe it's becoming wiser about what’s really important in life.
I feel like I don't do that to myself as much anymore. “I am only going to write for two hours this month,” you know? And that's okay because of all the other things that are important to me, you know? Or because my kid isn't sleeping right now and I really just need to sleep. You know?
I would read lots of interviews when my kids were really young, like babies, where the moms were like, "Well, I get up at five in the morning and I make my coffee and I write." I was like, my kid is up at five in the morning and I'm pissed! That is not when I'm in a state to get out my pen and have lovely quiet writing time. So sometimes you choose sleep or you choose going on a walk with your girlfriends because that's what you need to do for yourself, and that's okay too.
100% I agree. That kind of ties into my next question. A lot of people buy into this myth because prolific or famous writers will say, "You must write every day! The only way to be a real writer is if you write every day because it develops the habit…" and blah, blah, blah.
If you actually read the biographies and interviews with writers, it really varies. Sure, there are plenty of folks who write every day at four in the morning, and that's great. That works for them.
But there are plenty of writers who are self-identified “binge writers.” Cheryl Strayed has said, "I'm a binge writer. I write when I choose to write and sometimes that's in long sprints or long marathons, and then I don't write for months." Lidia Yuknavitch, I believe, has said the same thing… that she's more of a binge writer.
What you were saying earlier about finding moments here and there, I'm pretty sure it's Toni Morrison who said when her kids were young, she wrote in the cracks. In the cracks of life. Sometimes, that's just the type of writer you are.
It's comforting to hear that you embrace [writing in the cracks] because a lot of folks still to cling to that idea of “I must be this type of writer,” or “I should…”
Our styles are all different in terms of how we work, and our lives are different. Our interests are different. If you're pursuing acupuncture and raising children, you're going to have to find the cracks if you also want to write, and that's completely valid, too. Or take breaks, and that's valid too.
I think folks think that if they're not writing every day, they're not a “real writer,” and it's just a huge myth. I'm really glad you shared that with us. To prove it, you published a book! Same with Cheryl Strayed, Toni Morrison, Lidia Yuknavitch. They all published books, so everybody needs to calm down.
I'm going to jump ahead a little bit. You and I met through our mutual love for Ruminate Magazine, which everybody should check out. We love Ruminate.
You and I met back in 2015, and you asked me to join a writers group you were forming. Being part of this amazing group of women writers has been such a nourishing, beneficial experience for me, and I think for you as well.
How would you say community and creating what I call a “writerly web” has played a role in your creative life?
I love that question. I love our writing group.
I know, me too. We love them!
I love all of the images that you gave us earlier, too, about the different ways that people write. I never had heard that about Toni Morrison and I really like that. Writing in the cracks.
It might have been someone else, but I just seem to attach it to Toni Morrison because I know that was her routine. When folks would ask her, "When do you write as a mom?" And she would be like, "When I can, and if I can't, I can't. I'm raising my son." It might have been Toni Morrison, but it might not have been. But I know that she did write in the cracks, so...
Yeah, and nobody asks writers who are fathers, "When do you write?" You know?
Because there’s this entrenched role that women are often in. There's also women who are divorced, and so they have their kids part time, and they're also moms, but they also have sort of this window of opportunity to do other things when their kids aren't with them, which is like a double-edged gift. It's both a gift and really hard.
There's so many ways of being, and that's what to me is so important about community. You get so many different perspectives.
If I'm just writing by myself, I'm just deprived. The texture of what I'm able to bring into my writing is limited. When we get together and talk about our lives, that's really important. We always snack and talk for the first hour, and we joke about that, but that's also part of it: connecting and talking about what it means to be a writer when we're also dealing with all these other things in our communities and in our neighborhoods, in our little families or our bodies.
There are so many different ways of thinking about community. Like your body is its own community. How do you steward all of those competing pieces?
I think that that conversation is important. And talking about something that I've been working on with you guys, you’ll always help me see pieces of it that I wouldn't be able to see on my own. I also have a really hard time seeing my writing. Hearing my writing at all. I don't really know what it is until it's reflected back to me, so that's just such a gift the group offers is…
“You're doing this thing in your writing. Are you aware of that?”
“No, I'm not aware of that.”
“Okay, well, then here are some opportunities to develop that and here are some places you could go with it.”
I think that's really exciting and it's fun to play that role for the other writers too––for you guys.
I also think that there are really important connections between personal growth and community growth. You can't separate them, and I think that's what is so meaningful to me about doing any work in community, and why I'm attracted to community acupuncture, not just individual session acupuncture, which is also beautiful.
But, my introduction, my experience of acupuncture has always been the community model where you're in a room with other people. You're all receiving distal point acupuncture in recliners, and everyone's just napping together, and it's like the most beautiful space that you could enter into and it's more than just I am receiving acupuncture and the acupuncture is doing things for me. It's like I'm participating in that healing work on an individual level, and I'm also benefiting from the work that the person next to me who's sleeping is doing in their own body.
Sometimes I'll come into the room in a totally anxious, and my thoughts are moving really fast, and the person next to me is a super strong napper and their energy helps me get the benefits of that treatment.
That's kind of a tangent from writing, but it's all connected. I feel like more and more people are making that connection that “I can't create this self-care routine, this growth routine on my own. I have to do it in conjunction with work that I'm doing for others and with others in my community. I'm not just doing this work for myself.”**
I think that's the same with writing. I'm not just writing for myself. I'm writing because I’ve been given this gift and I want to share it with other people. I don't want to just collect publications and feel happy about myself. You know what I mean?
Absolutely. I was going to ask if community acupuncture connected to your main motivation or your “big why” for writing. You kind of answered it that it was, and I love that. One of my missions with LitHabits and my own writing and teaching is that we're on this earth to connect.
And we're wired [to connect], even on a biological level. We're herd animals; we're evolved from primates; we need community. That’s how we’re biologically wired. What you were saying before… It's such a lovely metaphor for writing community because the idea of somebody who has a strength, who is next to you… Your strengths intermingle and become synergistic. Synergy is one plus one equals five or six or seven. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and I really believe we’re wired that way.
People like to say that writing is this solitary endeavor when, in fact, most writers are writing for themselves, especially creative writers and poets, but they're also writing to connect.
They're also searching for that resonance that happens between communication, which requires both a listener and a speaker or a listener and a communicator. Everything you said is all beautiful and it's so inspiring, so awesome, thank you for sharing that.
Everybody out there, get a writing community if you don't have one already! It's so important. It's so vital to your creative health, and your health in general.
On that same topic: social media. We were talking a little bit earlier that you decided to take a full hiatus from all of your social media accounts. I think you said you deleted them completely as an experiment, and you're planning to write about your experience. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Yeah. I have been on Facebook for fifteen years.
Isn't that wild? I remember when we were all signing up for Facebook back when it first came out. It's crazy. Anyway, keep going. It's wild.
I learned that because I’d made the decision that I was going to completely delete my Facebook account, which I had been thinking about for a while. In some ways connected to the election and politics, and then also my kids and I had started sharing pictures of them on Facebook and then later was like, "Ooo, I don't know if I want to do that given all of this stuff that's coming about facial recognition software and all of this stuff." That's just my own personal feelings about it. Other people have different feelings about it, and that's okay.
I had switched from a flip phone to a smart phone, which is like people did that a long time ago, but I just did that recently. At first I was really excited about it because I was like, "I can finally do this whole Instagram thing! I can see the emojis that people send me that before were just little boxes, and it will be fine because I am pretty good with phone use. I won't get addicted." Not true. Not true at all. All of these patterns were developing in me that I really didn't like.
I read this book called Irresistible by Adam Alter, which is all about behavioral addiction. It's fascinating. It's a really good book, and it talks a lot about internet addiction. For me, I just felt like I don't need this in my life. It doesn't feel good for me.
It's a very complex thing because, on the one hand, I've had this network that I've been building for fifteen years that's made up all these people who I love, but on the other hand, that's the only way that I'm connecting to them. You know? I don't know if I want that to be the long term that I am in connection with people, so that means I'm going to have to come to terms with what that feels like to not know what's going on in their lives.
With stuff like the earthquake that we recently had, sometimes it's nice to be able to check in and see what's happening and how's everybody doing. But, ultimately, I felt like I don't like what this is doing to my brain. I started reading about how do you delete all of your information. And it's a long process. It's kind of scary because there's a lot that you don't have control over.
Anyway, I can talk about this for a long time, but through the process of deciding I'm going to delete it, I downloaded my information from Facebook, which you can do at any time. You don't have to delete it to do that, and that's how I learned, oh my gosh! I've been on here since 2004!
It was really interesting to kind of see all of the information that was there about me. So I completely deleted that and Instagram, and it feels really good. I have more spaciousness in my life. I feel like I can practice presence more, and I notice more when I have the reflex to go and check Facebook or procrastinate. I'd make a different choice. I'd do something else.
It can be profound or it can be just it's fine. It's not a big deal.
Exactly. You're still a human. You still can text. You can still call people on the phone. You can still go to the grocery store and do all the things. It's so interesting, and it's really brave of you. Speaking of myths that writers buy into––and this myth is heavily perpetuated and a tough one––is that “Oh, you have to have a platform on social media to publish traditionally!” And many, many people, especially in the literary world, want to publish traditionally. I really don't believe that's 100% a requirement.
There are other ways you can build a community online that don't involve social media. You could build a blog or an email list. Maybe it will be a little longer to grow because you're not putting it out there on Instagram or on Facebook or wherever. But there are writers out there who are doing that and have absolutely no social media presence.
Again, it’s one of those things like “You have to write every day.” It's the same kind of destructive myth like you have to buy into this thing that can really be unhealthy for writers, especially the creative spirit. All the things that social media does––it's the comparison sinkhole. It's not necessarily healthy for the amount of time that the average American spends on social media or on their phones. It's doable to figure out something else, to go a different route if it's not serving you for your life.
We could talk just about social media and the creative spirit and writers and publishing for hours and hours and hours, but I do want to talk to you about your incredible book.
For those who aren't familiar, Rupture, Light it is a book of poems, of beautiful, beautiful poems. I wrote a review of Melissa's book for Ruminate, so you can check that out. I likened her to the experience of reading Mary Oliver or Denise Levertov. It's soothing to the soul, so if you enjoy poetry, even if it's on difficult topics, I recommend picking this up and enjoying it. It's a wonderful summer read.
In Rupture, Light you're working with difficult, thorny topics like miscarriage and loss and fear and anxiety and this push and pull of waiting for motherhood to come, or waiting for the arrival of a baby to come. As I was reading it, I had this deep aching desire and then joy of arrival, and also a lot of sadness as well.
Can you talk about the emotional journey of writing about trauma and writing about heavier topics?
Thank you for your nice words and your beautiful review. You should all read Renee's review because she wrote it so well.
There are poems in [Rupture, Light] from 2013. Those poems were written over the course of many years, and there were many poems that came in and around those poems. I would say that it didn't necessarily feel like here I am sitting down to write a book about miscarriage or about trauma.
The book was kind of plucked out of a stack of other poems through the help of two of my close poet mama friends, Jill McKenna and Caitlin Dwyer, who both read drafts of those manuscripts and were like “This poem can go, this poem can go and this poem needs to be in this spot.”
That was something that I really struggled with. I knew that I had these strong poems that had been published in journals or had been workshopped in other places as a whole. And people had said, "Okay, yes, these are ready to go." But I didn't really know how to put them together, like a mix tape. How do you tell a story with stories? So, working with my friends really helped me a lot to see a narrative arc.
Just to chime in there, that worked. To me, it read like a perfect arc, even though they were little stories and little vignettes and smaller poems. The arc worked. They worked so well in the order that you placed them.
Well, thanks to my friends. I really think that was a whole part of the writing process that I was new to. I didn't really know about that, you know? I've wanted to make books since I was a little girl, but I didn't really know how a book of poetry comes together. They come together in lots of different ways, and that's how this one came together.
I will say that writing about those difficult experiences, it's different for everybody. I wrote a lot about the miscarriage just for myself before I was ready to write about it in any kind of artistic way. I’d write emails to my friends, or I'd write in my journal or I'd write down a prayer, or that kind of processing writing.
Then a whole bunch of other stuff to help me move that experience of grief and trauma and physical healing through my body from acupuncture and counseling and other kinds of body work. Really, things happen to us in our body and we have to use our bodies to release them too and to integrate them, so I think that those experiences didn't really start coming through in my art until they were part of my experience.
And I’d found a place for them in my own story about who I was and what my life was about. That's when I started seeing that story come out in my writing in a way that felt okay. It felt like this is something that I am ready to share with other people. This is something that's part of me so I can't not write about it.
I think that's the other thing is just being like, “I'm writing a story about this,” or “I'm writing an essay about this thing, but I can't really tell you about it without, you need to also know this about me.”
I think that's part of any relationship or connection. You were talking about how writing is about connecting. If you meet somebody for the first time, you have to find out other things about them before they can really tell you the most important thing.
I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that because it really, just reading the book, it does really feel like a complete and whole piece. Again, folks should go read the review because I feel like I phrased it much better in writing, which is, you know, we're writers, so that's to be expected.
This tug of emotions throughout the reading process, it felt like a connection. You feel a connection with the speaker of the poems. Even though as a non-parent, I still felt viscerally affected by the poems themselves, which many of them are centered on motherhood. It's a beautiful piece of work. I love it.
You told our writers group that the poem "Nullus Partus” actually woke you out of sleep at four AM beckoning to be written. Can you share more about that experience?
That's one of those rare poems that has come to me whole. That hasn't happened to me very often in my life.
My first pregnancy was an ectopic pregnancy, so it was a miscarriage. And then we had to wait a long time before we could have another baby, so I was just in that process of like, what does that mean? How do I accept that? I was pretty far along in that journey of just like, I am grieving this and moving forward and this poem just woke me up.
I was somewhere between sleeping and awake and I could hear the words. I went into our living room, and I didn't even turn on the light, and I grabbed some little nubby pencil and piece of paper that I think was a bill. I was writing on the back of it in the light of the street lamp because I knew if I try to do this for real, if I go to the computer and turn on the light, it's just going to go away. I need to stay half asleep.
I wrote down what I could hear and remember, and then I went back to sleep. Then the next morning, I took those notes and I sat down and I crafted it into a bigger poem. The sound of it, like the rhythm and the sort of dream-like imagery is still what I received at night, but then it has also gone through revision. I think that that was really important for me personally because it was kind of like my whole self telling me, "Okay, it's time. It's time for you to process this and share it with other people, and it's time for you to have another child."
Shortly after that we were going to have our daughter. I was ten weeks pregnant with her and I went to this writing retreat in New Mexico and workshopped this poem. Through that experience, I met a wonderful writer who had had a similar experience, and she helped me give it a title and kind of end it in a way that it made it a lot stronger. She helped me find a home for it and publish it.
I've had similar gifts from that poem ever since. Like, all the time. By sharing it with other people, I’ve been given so many gifts of relationship. I've met so many women who have had similar experiences or women who have shared the poem with others in their lives, who needed to hear that someone else had that experience, and that means more to me than anything.
For me, that’s how I feel like God is real, and it's also how I feel I’m doing what I'm supposed to do. You know what I mean? I've had to let go of feeling like writing needed to be a particular thing for me in my life, and I'm so glad that I did because this is what I want. I want more of those connections and relationships.
That sounds like that letting go opened a channel in you, right? I ask you this question because if you read about the lives of writers and artists, it's so common. This type of experience is so common, although not common like you were saying. It will happen a few rare times in an artist's life.
Elizabeth Gilbert tells the story of Tom Waits where he’s in the car and he's sitting––probably in LA traffic––and a song comes to him and it's right outside the window. He's like, "Well, I can't help you right now. Can you go to somebody else who can help you and can be the channel for you?"
That's just a funny example, but you'll read that all throughout the history of artists and creatives.
What do you think that is? Do you think that is God speaking to us and asking for something to be put out into the world and we are the channel for it? I don't want to put words into your mouth, so what do you think that is? That kind of gifting and when the channel is open something comes through us?
I have no idea. I don't know. I don't know at all. I'd love to hear other people's ideas about it. I think Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the ideas are looking for a home, you know. I mean, I think that's kind of cool. I have no idea.
For me it helps me. It is part of my faith. Because writing has always been connected to God for me. Writing is how I process what I see and what I feel. Things that I can't put into words until I start trying to put them into words. To me, that's like spirit. That's the creative spirit meeting you there and showing you what you already know.
Experiences like waking up with a poem, I mean, that's just like another level. I have no clue. You know what I mean? It's like something that I can't even really put into words, but it affirms what I already feel about the creative spirit.
Those experiences are more daily. More like, I know that if I show up at the page and I have a question, I will get some kind of answer. That's not just me making it up. It's spirit.
That's me. That's how I feel. I know other people don't feel that way, and that's okay too.
I know, there's a lot of different ideas about what that is and where it comes from, and whether it's just within us, or coming from somewhere else, or muses or God, and I just love that discussion because it's very, you'll find it. You'll find different reports of that kind of experience and just exactly how you described it, so it's something miraculous for sure, wherever it comes from.
Would you be willing to read a poem for us of your choosing?
Sure. Yeah. What would you like to hear? Should I read "Nullus Partus?"
Yeah, since we were talking about its miracle of how it came to you, I think that would be appropriate. Let's do it.
Melissa reads “Nullus Partus” [see video for closed captions].
Thank you. So lovely. It's so magical.
I do want to ask you: if you had one piece of advice to give to aspiring writers, what would that be?
I guess it would depend on the writer. You know? Is the aspiring writer a ten year old? If so, then that aspiring writer should read a lot of poems and sing a lot of poems and write a lot of poems, or whatever they want to write, and not listen to anybody who is judging their poems. Just keep making them. Just make them.
If that aspiring writer is in their twenties and out of college and trying to figure out okay, I've got this degree and I have no money and I love writing, I think just be kind with yourself and don't worry so much about publishing, but focus on relationships and connections. Not in a like cheesy, like networking way, like "I'm going to go schmooze it up and meet all the people and then I'll be famous." Find your tribe. Find your community of writers. Find other writers who are writing the kind of stuff that you want to write and talk to them and learn from them and share with them what you're writing.
I think if you're in your twenties, stay up late and go to all the open mics. I don't even know what's going on anymore.
Capitalize on that energy! Because it's going away.
It's 9:00. I'm going to go to bed soon.
But that's what I wish someone had told me in my twenties when I was freaking out because I'm not getting published anywhere, and I need to be publishing everything all the time. Like, it will come. Focusing on where you feel at home is more important. Finding the journals that you actually read and you actually like, that's where your people are.
Read the journals!
Read them. Subscribe to them. Especially Ruminate.
Yes! Subscribe to Ruminate. We love it!
If that aspiring writer is like me and in their thirties and has children or doesn't have children, I guess it would be the same. Being gentle on yourself and finding your people and, gosh, I also think you can do a lot less as you get older. So cut out the stuff that you really don't need. Like for me, social media. I have no time, so why am I doing this thing that doesn't help me? That's what I've got. It's not terribly profound.
All of that was perfect. That is all amazing advice and I think perfect for the context of all of those people, of all of where they are in life, so thank you so much.
Where can people connect with you? I know you're off of social media, but where can they find your work and hear about what's next for you?
So I do have a website, which is my name, melissareeserpoulin.com. I blog there maybe every month, maybe less. I will update there with my writing. There's a list of publications there that I keep updated. I do have an email subscription, like you can sign up to get a newsletter. I really don't send them very much at all. You can email me on my website. I’d love to get an email from you.
So simple, right?
Wonderful. Yes! So if they wanted to buy your book, where could they do that? On your website?
There's also a couple in bookstores.
Wonderful! Thank you so much, Melissa. It’s been such a pleasure chatting with you as always. You are such a lovely person and a lovely poet and I'm so blessed to know you. Thank you so much for sharing your time with me.
Thank you, Renee.
Thanks so much for listening to this interview! If you want to learn more about Melissa, head over to her website at melissareeserpoulin.com to read her blog, hop on her newsletter, or buy her beautiful book, Rupture, Light.
Did you like this interview? Hop on my free VIP list!
You’ll be the first to know when new interviews, articles, and videos for writers go live on the LitHabits Blog.
I'll be in your inbox once-a-week with fresh strategies to help you overcome procrastination, build your courage muscle, and create a writing habit and schedule aligned with your soul. PLUS, when you become a VIP, you get instant access to my free workshop:
“How to Beat HAS THIS ALL BEEN DONE BEFORE?! Syndrome”
Just pop your name and email into the form below to join the LitHabits VIP community.
References & Resources
**Melissa would like to credit Resmaa Menakem for the concept of a growth routine: “The concept of ‘growth routine’ that I talk about in connection to community/personal work, is very much influenced by Resmaa Menakem and specifically his book My Grandmother's Hands, which is about healing racial trauma in a white supremacist culture. I am deeply grateful for his work and for that book. While these are ideas I have thought about and read about elsewhere for a long time, "growth routine" is his term (and one I really like!).”