Hi, I’m Rachel Thompson
As a child, I drew a self-portrait of myself as a bottle full of inky swirls, pushing toward the top, where a giant stopper held everything tightly inside.
This is to say…I have always felt flooded by emotions and full of swirling ideas.
It is also to say…I have long felt silenced.
Where I come from, there was a lot of shushing and stoppering that made me yearn to be truly seen and heard.
So, like many quiet children, I turned to books.
I could live loudly and vicariously in their pages and did until an elementary-school teacher encouraged me to write. Eureka!
Writing became the place where I expressed my hidden feelings and observations.
I grew up, got an English degree, and built a career in communications. But I continued creative writing on and off over the years until I landed in the poetry and lyric prose program at Simon Fraser University’s The Writer’s Studio. There the program founder, Betsy Warland, taught me my most important lesson about writing:
We write alone, but we can only keep writing with the help of a community of writers. And I had found mine.
Meeting and working alongside other writers helped me understand what had been missing in my on-and-off writing years. With their help, I generated enough writing to complete my first collection of poems, Galaxy, published by Anvil Press.
The same year my book came out, I had a personal tragedy stop me from writing.
As I let my voice free to be heard by the world, I found out I was due to become a mother. With this role, I imagined, I could get it right and help this little life grow up feeling heard and understood.
Sadly, my baby was stillborn. I was no longer a mother. In the tsunami of grief that washed over my life, I felt like I couldn’t continue to be an author, either.
I didn’t want to write about my life anymore because I couldn’t bear to share so much suffering.
So, I put the stopper back on the bottle, locking in all those emotions and ideas again.
Fortunately, there were books. I found my way through the works of authors who suffered loss, and found healing.
In this time of not writing, I still craved a writing community and so I edited my first issue of Room magazine on the theme of loss. The tender truths each contributor shared showed me how to write my own story.
Today, I am still writing my truest feelings, and figuring things out on the pages I fill.
I’m also busy raising two children, whose voices I cherish and encourage to be heard. (Of course, this is infinitely harder than I imagined.) And, I’m inspired by the love and connections we create in this here writing community.
I believe if we let our messages out of the bottle, we get to live fuller lives. Lives where we are genuinely seen and in which we see others.
I believe that by writing honestly and attentively, we express our true hearts and can connect in a fundamentally disconnected world.
About Working with Me
I love helping writers grow in a warm community, because community is essential to writing.
I believe a warm writing community will help you find:
- The bravery to reveal your voice.
- The self-trust to stay true to your heart.
- The tenacity to go for your dream.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”