Books·Writing Tip

Struggling to express yourself? Here's CBC Poetry Prize juror Kai Cheng Thom's tip for finding the write stuff

The writer, performer and therapist shares her best tips to find motivation and maintain momentum on your writing journey.
Kai Cheng Thom is a writer, performance artist and therapist. (Jackson Hagner)

Kai Cheng Thom is a writer, performer and therapist who has written the novel Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl's Confabulous Memoir, the poetry collection a place called No Homeland and the children's book From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea. She's also a juror for the 2018 CBC Poetry Prize, alongside Jordan Abel and Ruth B.

CBC Books asked Thom for her best writing tip for those who are prepping their work for the 2018 CBC Poetry Prize.

"We live in a world that encourages constant, mindless productivity — writers included!  Don't write because everyone else is doing it, don't write what everyone else is writing. Write the story that you have to tell, the one you must tell or else you'll go to the grave regretful. Write with purpose, and if you don't have purpose, find it before writing. Write to change the world, or at least your parents' minds. Write to win the heart of someone you love, even if — especially — the sonofagun married someone else instead. Write politically. Write personally. Enjoy the sunlight. Take naps. And when the need to write comes upon you, seize it ferociously and do not let go."