Writings on Writing: January 2023
“You know how you can have a hell of a time getting around to working on your dissertation, but still happily email friends for hours? I’ve come to think of academic performance, or any writing performance in which I set out with the idea that I’m going to somehow show others what I know, as ‘uphill.’ Whereas my barefoot voice is the equivalent of dancing alone in my apartment, late at night, to my favorite music. My barefoot voice is my voice in a letter to a friend, written for solace while hiding in a cafe on a rainy day. Tender, interested, commiserating, outpouring, describing, punctuated with small drawings and recipes. It’s the writing that pours out of the centers of my bones. It’s as natural to me as my breath. This, these words that you’re reading now, this is my barefoot voice.”
Diana Atkinson, “Notes in My Barefoot Voice,” Shambala Sun, July 2, 2002.