Space for Joy

“The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.”

Audre Lorde

How do I create spaces for joy in my daily life?

How have others–artists, writers, friends, mentors–created spaces for me to experience joy?

How can a book be a place of hospitality?

What joys can I share with people who are different from me, with people who disagree with me?

What space am I asked to make for others?

What space am I called to take up for myself?

How have I experienced joy as a bridge across differences?

Little Steps Forward

Shortly after attending the Hudson-Townsend Publishing Institute, I discovered Joe Biel’s book A People’s Guide to Publishing. The founder and CEO of Microcosm Publishing, Biel’s Guide is an approachable introduction to founding a publishing company with both DIY panache and business savvy. It was the summer in the middle of my full-time MBA program, and I was pursuing my writing with a mentor instead of a more standard MBA internship. Biel’s book pointed me toward delight and possibility, toward playful engagement with business tools as movement-building resources.

As I learn to relax into my own voice as a writer, I am also listening for others’ voices to amplify as a publisher. What movement am I called to, what–dare I say–ministry?


Playing with Publishing

A year ago July, I stocked up on cardstock and vellum when the Pat Catan’s craft store in Tiffin, Ohio was having its going-out-of-business sale. In May, I had attended the Hudson-Townsend Publishing Institute at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The whole process of publishing captivated me: from acquiring manuscripts, to editing, design, production, and marketing. As we folded papers together to create our own chapbooks–nothing, really, inconsequential–I felt a spark of delight. This playfulness with the physical form of words; this attention to communication, both through words and through design. Sign me up, I thought. I want to be a publisher. But what does that look like? What does that mean?