• Archuleta A. Chisolm

All That Is Required


In the last several months, it seems that my response to anyone asking what I’ve been up to lately is “Working on the book.” Then they proceed with asking how it’s coming along, and I respond “I’m getting there!”


It’s the best answer I can give; the only answer that fits. I know that I’m getting there, through early mornings and late evenings. Through not being able to sleep and talking to myself at any given moment, these poems are getting there.


The process, or I should say my process, of writing is a beautiful journey but that doesn’t mean it’s not a grieved one. So many emotions come crashing in, including ones I don’t have a familiar response to. I investigate, cry, research, laugh, read, conjure up the past, and use my words to change outcomes. Just traveling to the next city, or going to a new place in town can make a big difference in what comes out on the page.


During the height of the pandemic, I had a racist encounter with a colleague during a Zoom meeting. It put me in a deafening space that I couldn’t get out of for a while. With all the racial and social injustice that was happening in the world, I channeled what I was feeling into my writing. The result was a change in the direction and tone of my blog, and the foundation for my forthcoming book.


In reading this, know that you’re not a weirdo. You’re a writer. You also have a responsibility to the art of writing. Discover those things that only you, because of your life and experience, would know. Three people standing in the same room watching the same event will experience it differently. As a writer, you should be able to show why God put you in that room. Show the piece of the puzzle that’s missing. Help people to see themselves differently; see their beliefs and life differently.


Keep going. You'll get there.