Gabriella Salmon; writer, facilitator, teacher and space-holder for radical, loving change. Gabriella is many things to many people, but most recently she is about to become a published author with the impending release of her first book, ‘100 Days of Morning‘; an experiential tale about the transformative power of writing. Though Gabriella is busy bopping about the east coast of Australia, having adventures and promoting the imminent release of her magnum opus (for which she is currently running a Pozible campaign), she has kindly afforded me the opportunity to catch up with her to talk about writing, spirituality, and her exciting odyssey into the world of independant publishing.
What first made you want to become a writer?
“I’ve always been a writer. I’ve written for myself, journaling since I was seven. I’ve written for the world since about the same age in the schoolroom utopia that is ‘English Class’. Beyond the classroom, I’ve written for the world in poetry and short play writing competitions, the occasional magazine article, international love letters, and sales and marketing campaigns. All of these things however, were written before I started owning this title of ‘Writer’.
“On the 19th of July 2012, I got an unexpected phone call telling me my dad had died. All I wanted to do was write about it, so I did, every single day for 100 days. It was a process that changed everything. I emerged from (it) finally willing and able to claim (the title) – ‘Gabriella Salmon – Writer.’ Ahhh, still feels good to write it!”
You describe yourself as a ‘space-holder for radical, loving change’. Care to elaborate on what this means for you?
“Why, yes, I’d love to! Let’s work backwards and start at ‘radical, loving change’. This sweet trinity of words points to the fact that I’m not into pussyfooting around. I’m not into merely coming up with fancier and more impressive ways to (write) about stuff. I’m into examining the very foundations of our stories, and then consciously, lovingly choosing to rewrite them. I know for a fact that we can use the conscious, literal act of rewriting our stories as the catalyst for some of the biggest changes in our lives.
“The term ‘space-holder’ means that my focus is less on ‘teaching’ or ‘coaching’ and more (about) providing (a) safe, open space for people to be draw their own answers and understandings. We all have deep, raw, honest stories in us that are longing to be told and to be seen. We just get a bit caught up in believing that our stories aren’t valid. I know all of our stories are valid, and it’s my job to hold a space open for each and every story-teller, (so that they can) learn to trust that for themselves.”
As a motivational author, how big an aspect does your spirituality play in your writing?
“I don’t actually see myself as a ‘motivational’ author. To me, motivation is all about pushing or pulling, and being defined by the world. I prefer the term ‘inspirational’ (author). Inspiration speaks to me of expanding my awareness (and) of my connection with ‘The All’.
“I write the stories of me. I keep my writing as personal as I can (and) thusly, this is the place I write my stories from. Part of my understanding of life is that I am a spiritual being having a human experience, not a human being having a spiritual one. This is an (important) piece in my life and (so) my spirituality colours every single word I write.“
You’ve just finished writing your first book. Coming out the other side of it, what are your thoughts/feelings about your accomplishments? Any important lessons learnt? Anything you’d do differently?
“From a practical point of view, I would start writing earlier in the day! Being a bit of a chronic night owl, I was constantly (writing) really late at night. I was often writing about the intricacies of a really emotional journey, (something) pretty damn hard to do when you’re physically exhausted. There were times when I was so damn tired that I was having micro naps in-between sentences. Looking back over it, I’m actually a little surprised that it all came out so coherently.
“I feel like writing this book was something I had to do. I had to learn how to give my creative processes priority in my life. I had to practice the act of writing consistently and publicly enough so that I could finally own this ‘Writer’ title. It’s an important title to me; it’s synonymous with finally saying ‘yes’ to my deepest creative longings. I feel like my next books will quickly supersede this first one, from a literary point of view. But, like a first lover, it will always be a defining work of mine.”
What are your plans for the future? Any projects on the horizon?
“World domination. Oh, wait, no… Keep writing. Keep writing. Be the space-holder for other people to start (and keep) writing. I actually finished writing my second book, ‘A Sacred Summer’, on the 10th of March. It tells the story of my epic road trip 3,000kms north to visit the lands of my childhood. These are lands I hadn’t visited in the 14 years since my mum died in early 1999. It tells of my adventure of being perched on a mountaintop for weeks, sans transport and with only limited in-person contact, while I declared myself on ‘creative retreat’.
“Sometime (soon), I’ll start my 3rd book – ‘Everyday Love’. This book will be another 100 day living book, committed to exploring a conscious, everyday meditation on love and how that plays out in my everyday life. It also just might be a little bit of a romance.”
If you had to kill a man with a book, which book would you use and what would you say to him as you did so?
“Hmmm… Books don’t kill people, people do.
“I can’t answer that! Books are for liberating people, not killing them!
“(She lets ‘War and Peace’ fall from her hands) You’ll have to take me instead! Ahhh, tis a noble death!”
Gabriella’s website and blog can be found here – GabriellaSalmon.com
And Gabriella’s book, ‘100 Days of Morning‘, will be released on May 4th, though pre-orders are available by supporting her Pozible campaign – 100 Days of Morning