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Daily Inspiration: Meet Gabrielle Dutton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gabrielle Dutton.

Gabrielle, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I’ve always been a writer. I’ve been many other things: student, scuba diver, girlfriend, daughter, sister, promoter, traveler, photographer – but throughout it all – always a writer. Since as early as I can remember, and as far back as my father’s stories go. His usual starting point being a story about a poem I wrote in first grade comparing life, the ups and the downs, to a slide on the playground. I didn’t stop at poetry, attempting novels, blogs, prose, and more but always finding a home in what began it all. Now I’m 26 and on the cusp of publishing my first poetry and prose collection (titled But First, We Fall) and I couldn’t be more excited or more anxious to bring this lifelong dream into fruition.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
A smooth road wouldn’t be much to write about, I suppose. A lot of my writing comes from the forced reflections of situations I’ve struggled through. I learn a lot about myself through my writing. I’ve struggled with self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. I’ve experienced abuse. I’ve explored my sexuality. Sometimes it is a challenge just to articulate these experiences in a way that honestly and accurately depicts the way they feel, but the process itself can be enlightening. This is what my book is about. It’s an expression of a multitude of experiences that overlap as much as they stand alone, an ode to the dualities that exist within someone at any given moment, and what those dualities can teach us.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I write poetry and prose. Those are my specialties and what I’m known for (although I really enjoy writing just about anything). Right now, I’m focused on finishing the final revisions of my poetry collection before it’s off to the printers. It’s been a long time coming and I’m proud to be so close to publication. Writing is as difficult as any other craft, coming easily one day and can hardly be wrenched out the next. I’ve been writing all of my life, and I’m proud of how my capabilities have developed along the way. What I’m really proud of is foregoing my anxiety, my hesitation, and pushing forward with my work with a type of transparency and honesty that both frightens and excites me. It’s something I believe can set me apart from others. I don’t just write what sounds pretty or inspirational (these are secondary goals). I write what I feel and what I see, even when the admission feels uncomfortable to me. It’s how I try to get to the truth of things. Sometimes a piece is just me engaging in conversations with myself about philosophy and morality. Also, in my work, I’ve made a decision to represent a spectrum of human experience. A lot of writers pick an identity, that of a broken-hearted girl or a romantic man, and stick with it throughout their work, creating a theme they can be identified by. There’s nothing wrong with that. I just have, instead, chosen to give voice to the several different sides of me. I am sweet, angry, loving, peaceful, seductive, random, heartbroken, cruel, ignorant, wise, and kind. I write about each of these experiences proportionally to how often I feel them. To be genuine is the ultimate aim of my writing.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
I am of the mind that anyone who ever inspired me to write, whether about them or through an idea they knowingly or unknowingly offered, deserves some type of credit. Whether they be the seed or the water, they are half the formula. Otherwise, there aren’t too many people that have involved themselves with my work. I’d have to thank my publisher, Phil at Redbrush, for helping me put together my book exactly how I want it and to help organize my thoughts and prepare me for interviews such as this one. Also, I’d have to thank the three beta readers of my collection. Their feedback was crucial to the development of “But First, We Fall”. Lastly, I have to thank the people that follow my poetry page on Instagram. Though they be few, their support helps to validate what I’m doing and helps me mindfully create a small showcase of my work.

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On the last photo: Bliss for the model and Xpression Boudoir for the photographer

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