Danielle Doby is an author, artist and activist from Texas. After founding the #IAmHerTribe movement and Instagram account, containing soulful poems, sketches and storytelling memos, Danielle has gained a well-deserved audience of over 175k followers. Her debut poetry novel, titled, ‘I Am Her Tribe’, is set to be released on the 23rd of October, 2018.
Please introduce yourself to our readers…
My name is Danielle Doby. I am an artist, storyteller and author of the book, I Am Her Tribe.
How did you know that poetry was the way you wanted to express yourself?
Poetry has always been one of the ways I’ve expressed myself. Since I was born, my mother and grandmother fostered a safe space for creative expression. Starting at an early age, I have been using different artistic mediums to connect to my feelings and the world around me. I spent many of my childhood days at the art studio my mother worked at, so art, in itself, became a language all its own for me. I love the weight that words hold and their ability to move without physical touch. We are able to learn so much about ourselves by the way words land on our tongues and in our bodies.
What are the biggest challenges you faced in publishing your own book?
The biggest challenge with publishing my book wasn’t the actual publishing process, it was the getting still, in mind and body, so that the words could move through me. Everything that I write serves as an offering from my own personal story and the lessons I have gained along the way. In many ways, writing this book invited me to my own edges, calling upon my courage to show up and share, even when, and especially when, I was scared to.
You have developed quite a large audience on social media. How do you deal with the pressure to constantly develop new content?
I used to feel pressure to “stay connected” on social media. The hustle to keep up worked, until it didn’t, and I started to burn out. When it comes to anything, creative or not, I have found that when I only give and give and give, I eventually start to give others something that isn’t even real. Now, I have learned to listen to my body. When my chest feels heavy, or my jaw tightens, I take a step back — sometimes for days, weeks or even months. My best work comes when I soften into it, not force my way through.
What advice would you give to other women and men who feel they are struggling to open their heart and express themselves, or just don’t quite know how to do it?
When you are creating and you find yourself wanting to run away from a feeling, choose to stay for just a few moments longer and see what you find there.
Where must we all travel at least once?
Not necessarily where, but with who. Grab a van and go on a road trip with people you love. I went on a 12-day journey with two of my girlfriends from L.A. to Whistler. Saying “yes” to them, and that trip, was easily one of the best decisions of my life. In such a short period of time I learned so much about myself, my relationships, and what it means to truly stay — even when things get hard.
Is there a specific crystal that resonates with you more than others?
I love my moonstone. It holds a sensual, deeply feminine energy that heals and guides you to recognize your wholeness.
What is your go-to scent?
One of my creative rituals before I sit down to write is burning either Palo Santo or Sage.
What book must we all read once?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Is there a particular author who inspires you the most?
Not author, but artist. My grandmother. She will always be my creative muse.
Do you have a favourite quote from a book, author or influencer?
”We’re all just walking each other home.” - Ram Dass
What are you currently reading?
Right now I am reading Metaphysical Anatomy by Evette Rose.