I’m excited to bring you this conversation with Danielle Dutton, acclaimed Margaret the First author, whose own mother instilled an appreciation for reading and education early in her life. Danielle and I spent many family holidays together growing up because our mothers have been life-long friends. But, it’s been years since I’ve spoken with Danielle and it was such a joy to hear about the E.P.I.C life she is living.
Danielle is the author of three books, most recently Margaret the First, based on the life of Margaret Cavendish, a 17th century Duchess who wrote and published poems, plays and other works during a time when “being a writer” was not an option for most women.
In addition to being an author herself, Danielle also co-founded, with her husband, the independent press called Dorothy, a publishing project. The press came from her own desire to create more space for innovative works by female authors. It is named for her great aunt, a librarian who drove a bookmobile through the backroads of Southern California, delivering books to underserved desert communities.
Born and raised in California, Danielle now lives in Missouri, where she teaches in the writing program at Washington University in St. Louis and enjoys time with her husband and eight year old son, both writers themselves.
Danielle and I talked about the small steps she took along the way in her life, from working in a book store in England to taking a writing class and then applying for her MFA on a whim, that brought her to where she is today.
She shares with honesty how she has moved through depression and anxiety and how she has become a kinder person since becoming a mother to her son, who she says is hilarious and her favorite person in the world.
We also discuss the importance of a mindful daily practice. How Buddhist meditation has begun to transform the way she thinks about herself, helping her to go down the “right roads” in her thoughts. And she shares how the books she has authored came from both a mindset of patience and a commitment to daily writing.
I found Danielle to be totally delightful and was inspired by her honesty, her sincerity and this way in which she comes across at the same time relatable and brilliant.
I hope you will join me in exploring the resources she shared in Buddhist meditation and also in following through on her challenge to read more, read books we wouldn’t normally read, and make time and space for a writing project of our own to emerge.
Topics discussed in this episode:
Resources mentioned in this episode:
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