Writing Doula Services
Writing Doula Services offers workshops and retreats rooted in feminist research on
restorative writing practices.
(Please note I no longer offer 1:1 consulting.)
My teaching methods balance intellectual rigor
with creative, contemplative, and somatic-integration writing practices.
My research practices offer you trauma-informed tools,
but I also challenge the individualistic approach
to trauma of much of western mental health models.
Rather, I guide you in attending to the structural roots
of the impacts of traumatic systems.
FOR EXAMPLE, WE EXAMINE QUESTIONS LIKE:
What is the language hiding or being held in your body?
What is your somatic knowledge telling you about structures?
What is your body communicating about your writing practice?
How are relations of power shaping how you come to the page?
As we do a feminist-minded assessment,
we will closely examine the conditions in which you are writing
as part of understanding the forms of support you will need.
It is true that most writing services focus
on how to be more "productive."
(That word that ever presses down hard,
exhausting body, mind, spirit, and earth.)
It is also true that graduate students, scholars,
and writers experience tremendous
anxiety, depression, and avoidance
when it comes to their writing,
missing deadlines and delaying their projects.
But from my years of research at the intersection
of writing practices, feminism, ethnic studies, and mental health—
I do not believe most methods for "productivity"
get to the root cause of our writing anxiety.
We get there through supporting all your ways of knowing—
because structures like patriarchy and white supremacy silence and constrict
so many forms of knowledge left off the page.
We will get there through integrating intellectual rigor
with contemplative and somatic-based feminist writing principles.
We get there through healing the fragmentation of knowledge
and restoring mind-body-spirit-place connections.
Instead, we need to reclaim and integrate
our creative power...
and name and understand the abusive power through which we became disconnected.
And what of your voice is missing on the page—
What ways of knowing are being left outside
(or, How are you not able to
show up at all
for your intellectual and creative work because of systems like gender inequity
that don't support women
having time or mental space
to write or create?
Let's find ways to resist that silencing.)
(or, How are hierarchies of masculinity doing violence to what you know in your body but can't put to words? Let's heal patriarchy for all genders.)
(or, How has your voice been written over by dominant expectations of white classrooms and white institutions?
Let's talk about race, anti-Blackness, and colonial histories and your writing practice—
and let's surround you with texts of how Black, Indigenous, and feminist of color writers resisted this silencing so you are connected to generations of resistance as you write.)
A Feminist Writing Manifesta
We will honor the knowledge that patriarchy, classism, white supremacy, ableism, transphobia, and colonialism has told us not to value about our own experiences.
We will integrate knowledge separated by academic disciplines and power structures.
We will cultivate practices for mind-body-spirit
and land/water/place reconnection, as many Indigenous feminist and feminist of color scholars specifically call for.
We will create holding spaces for grief labor
(with sensory, embodied, contemplative rituals)
when we are writing into the traumatic knowledge of a world so cut through with oppression.
We will name and assess the structural roots that create a writing experience devoid of our creative joy.
We will honor our joy in our creative process, even as we know that transformative writing is a challenging labor, with many steps and skills to practice and hone.
We will inhabit a feminist understanding about what writing means as a personal and political act.
(And for some, a spiritual act, too.)
We will write as a practice of generational connection and collective healing.
We will write in order to suture the split off pieces of ourself and our knowledge.
We will write in order to grieve and bear witness as part of our offering to create more love, beauty, possibility, truth, community, and justice in this world.
We will write in order to— in the wisdom of transnational feminist Jacquie Alexander—understand our many inheritances—
even as we are in a process of becoming.
(For more resources on writing practices, contemplative connections, and feminist approaches to birthing our knowledge, see my podcast, Writing Feminist Life Together.)
What is the research behind Writing Doula Services?
Throughout my 4 graduate programs of study, I always worked 1:1 with writing clients, even as I was a student. My academic research was being shaped by four fields of training— psychodynamic theory, feminist studies, religious studies, and ethnic studies. As I learned these intellectual lineages, I was also seeing up close how relations of power effected my clients' voice and their writing process.
For my second Ph.D. program in ethnic studies, my dissertation connected my four fields of training to a study of the history of revolutionary feminist writing practices. (I also integrated psychoanalysis, contemplative studies, and trauma theories.) In Writing Doula Services, I offer you methods from this depth and breadth of research. I also offer you knowledge that I have learned as a longtime writing coach and as both an academic and creative writer. Finally, I offer you wisdom passed down from my feminist scholarly mentors who gave so much for my development as a theorist, writer, and teacher. (Special thanks goes to Dean Emilie Townes, Laura Wexler, Tisa Wenger, Shelley Streeby, and Kalindi Vora.)
What Clients Are Saying
"Kim is not just a terrific instructor but an amazing advocate for writers of any age. She not only taught but encouraged the entire class to truly explore the edges of their abilities, to break new ground in their work. I cannot speak highly enough of her demeanor as a writing coach as she will no doubt inspire those who come into contact with her to make the most of their talent."
John Mietus, Coach/Educator/Writer
"Kimberly has a wonderful gift for teaching and for drawing forth creative potential. What I liked most about working with Kimberly was learning how to live and breathe at the intersection of critical theory, creative fiction, and contemplative inner practices. She shows how all three genres can support the archetypal function of creativity."
Jesse Estrin, MA Depth Psych. & lead facilitator for Insight-Out's GRIP program in San Quentin, CA
"Kim has an organic way of asking questions that get to the heart of your writing project. Her approach is unlike any writing workshop or editing that I have experienced. She both challenges and encourages the writer to be bold. The value of Kim's feedback and method are unparalleled. She came along side me in the final stages of writing my dissertation and assessed the big picture. With her feedback I was able to target my efforts in crafting my first large writing project."
Dr. Michelle Wolff, Assistant Professor of Religion
"I am still reaping the fruit from your inspirational and life changing class, Writing From the Body. As I progress in my work as a scholar and artist, I am awakening to so much of what you would talk about in class—the violence against women's bodies and voices."
Dr. C. Espina