This week we are going to talk about Christy Birmingham. She is a writer, poet and feminist. Her writing is inspiring and motivates every woman who is going thru difficult moments. I personally love her work, Christy explains how art/poetry helped her to deal with personal issues, depression, and abuse. She is the perfect example what we have been trying to translate on our project.
Read her complete interview below.
When did you discover your passion for writing?
As an elementary school student, I realized my love of poetry and short stories. It was after becoming a voracious reader. I recall my English teacher asking us to pen a story based on a prompt and my story getting a good mark from the teacher. I was very proud!
Is poetry your favorite writing style?
Yes. Poems mean a lot to me as this was my first writing style published (back in elementary school – the poem was on the topic of recycling). I like the succinct nature of poetry. The format suits how my thoughts often emerge and I find that my expressions go well with a poetic format.
Do you think poetry is a type of therapy?
It absolutely can be! Art therapy has proven benefits and writing is a form of it. Poems, in particular, helped me to deal with personal issues, including depression and abuse. It was through my first poetry book Pathways to Illumination that I truly came back to being “me.”
Tell me about your writing motivation.
I am primarily motivated to write to help women struggling with their mental health or with unhealthy relationships. I speak from experience and want to help others. I believe that my purpose is to provide a hand to those who need help in these areas. By growing my blogging and book platforms, I can hopefully reach more women.
Who is your favorite author?
Margaret Atwood! I was drawn to her when I realized how distinct a writing style she has. I marveled in her book Surfacing at how she crafted a female character that was both unique and familiar at the same time. She has a beautiful way of phrasing sentences.
Tell me about your favorite poem.
I cannot choose a favorite poem. There are so many great choices. Some of the poets I admire most are Maya Angelou, Robert Frost, and Sylvester L. Anderson.
What are your career aspirations?
I think that keeping inspired in a career can wane, no matter who you are. If I find this happening, I take a break from my desk and walk out in nature (preferably by the water). This will calm me and help me refocus my train of thought. It helps to write down the why behind why you do what you do as a career and look at this piece of paper when you find yourself feeling uninspired as a way to re-ignite the spark in you!
Tell me about your coming book.
I am working on a collection of short stories. It will be my third book and the first one that is fiction. I am not releasing too much about this upcoming book… yet.
What do you think needs to be done to reduce the violence against women?
I think that we need to stop putting the onus on women to prevent violence. I suggest instead that we educate men about respecting women and what a healthy relationship looks like. Instead of looking at sexual assaults as “what did she do to be treated that way?” let’s instead say “why did he do that?” But, better yet, let’s address the issue before it even happens.
Do you think that women can overcome traumas through writing?
I think writing is a therapeutic tool, absolutely. Journaling is just one example. My therapist had recommended it to me, and I found it helpful for making sense of a full mind. Reading the words on paper was scary at first, but it does force you to come to terms with the past and only by doing so can you move ahead.
How can writing be a powerful tool to speak out about women’s rights?
For me, writing provides a way to connect with women whom I might not otherwise ever meet in person. Blog posts, articles, and books are all powerful ways of educating women and men about gender equality. My last book Versions of the Self explores the different types of relationships and explains how we each affect one another. The great thing about the written word is that it can be read re-read and savored whenever a person wants.
If you could advise a young girl who lives in a vulnerable territory, what would it be?
It would depend on the exact situation. If she is scared, I would encourage her to reach out to someone she trusts and express what is behind her fear. This person can then take the steps necessary to get this child to a safe place. Also, I would tell her to trust her instincts. If something feels off, it likely is!
Feel free to leave any message to our readers.
Feminism is not an ugly word! Often a person raises an eyebrow at me when I explain that some of the writing I do concerns the subject of feminism. It is about protecting female rights around the globe, and we deserve to fight back at the attacks being made on it. Let’s stand strong and unite, men and women, to make the world a more peaceful and fair place to live.