A Radical Lesson in Listening. ~ Jillian Locke

This article came with very special news – the editors of the Elephant Journal have asked me to become a regular columnist! This was my intention all long, which followed one of my New Years Actions and Compassions, a list I made in lieu of “resolutions” this year – to write and submit a wellness article each week, an action that would give my writing focus and a renewed energy for the new year.

For those who don’t know, I spent six years as a freelance entertainment journalist interviewing some of my favorite bands. The journey was incredible; I went to more shows than I can count, talked to more of my personal heroes than I can ever list and worked with some amazing people.

But there came a time when I started to lose the passion for writing, simply because I hadn’t diversified. I was writing about the same bands within the same demographic, not to mention spending four years with a localized magazine. I started to feel bored, stuck, limited. Writing became a labor rather than a labor of love, and that was my worst nightmare. There were many times over the years that I almost quit, and when I finally did in the fall of 2011, there was no looking back. I don’t regret it.

Not once, not never.

Last September, I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to “observe” a Creative Writing class at UMass Lowell with none other than Andre Dubus III (House of Sand and Fog, Townie). He allowed me to take the class…FREE. What happened in that class was a complete awakening – a total overhaul of everything I’d ever done as a writer. I faced demons, put them on the page and somehow…moved past them.

That experience freed me to write the way I’m writing now. I allowed me to find my voice again, to write as I once wrote before entertainment journalism consumed my life. And although publishing with the Elephant Journal is a form of journalism, it’s so much less constricted – it’s the truth. It allows me to write the truth rather than write for publicity, for a certain crowd. Now, I write for myself and miraculously, others have showed interest and found pieces to relate to within my words. Now, I’m building and becoming a part of a different kind of community, one that feels closer to my truth.

Thank you for following my blog, for reading my pieces, and for giving me amazing feedback. Writing can be an EXTREMELY lonely exercise, but when you share your words with others and they’re touched on some level by them, that’s when writing becomes bigger. That’s when the energy expands, grows, and thrives. And that’s what it’s all about!

Here is my latest article, also featured in the QUALITY homepage section! All my gratitude to you! XOX!




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