I just had such a cool talk with one of my students about her not feeling entitled to write. Feeling like: why do I have the right to write a book? Am I smart enough? Interesting enough? Who do I think I am anyway? Most women battle this shit, it's so fierce. I know I did, and theoretically still do although I haven't written a word besides these blog posts in six months because I've been so committed to other stuff including Cupcake here.

I clawed through this girl-stuff, this feeling like what you have to say doesn't matter, all through MFA school, all through writing my first novel. I used every trick in the book to keep myself writing--little print-ups of Anne Lamott posted strategically around the office. Little writing rules about when I had to be at the desk. Treats. Retail therapy (well, this is relative on a grad student budget but you know).

And one thing I did obsessively was look to the women musicians who were creating their own worlds. I played Bjork, Tori Amos, PJ Harvey over and over and over and over. Other music as well, but these three proved to me that what I was trying to do, what I could just barely imagine happening in literature but had an inkling of and a strong desire to read even more than write, was something they had managed to accomplish musically.

I also read interviews with these three. Thank god that the internet and my grad school coincided--without interviews with Tori and Bjork specifically it would have been much, much harder to write the book I wanted to write.

(I probably would have written a much more traditional first novel with better chances of getting it published, but then, we wouldn't be here on the Cupcake blog together now, would we?)

I have been reading tons of Bjork interviews lately--whenever I need guidance on some new turf I'm mapping out in my life or my art that nobody has seemed to explain in the world yet, I go to her. Also to Toni Morrison but right now it's Bjork.

Today I'm all about this: Always keep an Iceland in your mind.

Anyway, I recommend reading as many of these interviews as possible. What is a day job for, anyway, hon? The Bjork website has a fabulous selection of quotes so very organized (how Scandinavian of her). Here's one that's inspiring me for what we might want to to with the Cupcake Liberation Front for 2005:
People think I did nothing in Iceland before The Sugarcubes, but me and my friends did everything! We'd make pirate radio, attack the government, run into the TV station and take control, hold film festivals of only X-rated films, attack policemen - we were like terrorists, you know? We were... terrible! The Sugarcubes was just a hobby we did at weekends, singing silly pop songs.
xo Elizabeth

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