2019 just got a lot more inspiring. Cleo Wade, the author and poet whose best-selling book Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life brought affirmations to so many, is back with another collection of poetry and prose. Where to Begin will hit bookshelves Oct. 8, and EW is exclusively revealing the cover — and offering up behind-the-scenes details from Wade herself.
Where to Begin will follow in the footsteps of Heart Talk, using mantras (many of which Wade’s fans follow on her popular Instagram account) to help bring about positive change. This time around the subject matter will focus on equality and justice. Below, Wade answers a few of EW’s burning questions about the new anthology and her writing process.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How would you describe Where to Begin in one sentence?
CLEO WADE: Comforting.
What’s the biggest thing you learned in making Heart Talk that you used in the process of writing Where to Begin?
I spent almost all of last year on the road in different towns and cities talking to people about their lives. For every hour that I spent speaking, I spent three hours listening, and my biggest takeaway was that most people are feeling incredibly overwhelmed. The combination of living in the age of the 24-hour news cycle and holding a phone all day that is constantly alerting us to a flood of information and status updates is incredibly stressful and anxiety-provoking.
On any given day, the problems of the world just feel like they are too much for us to handle, so I really wanted to create a book that helped calm our minds while also reminding us that we always have the power to remain hopeful and participate in creating solutions.
What is the thing that provided the most inspiration for the book?
As I was writing this book, I thought a lot about those who have disagreed with me but remained kind throughout our interaction. I am truly inspired by those who remember that our ideas can be in conflict without us being in conflict.
Who (or what) is inspiring you the most right now?
My biggest inspiration is always the people I meet as I move through the world. No one inspires me more than the people I meet while traveling on the road, standing in line at a coffee shop, taking the subway, or the amazing people that visit me when I set up my Are You Okay booths in the park.
What is the first thing you did when you finished Where to Begin?
I took a nap! I only had about two months to write this book, so I had to work around the clock on it.
Is there a poem or mantra from Where to Begin that you’re most looking forward to discussing with fans?
A large part of the book is a poem called “Where To Begin.” It has been my mantra during so many moments of feeling defeated. It has carried me from helplessness to hopefulness more times than I can count, I am so excited to share it with my community.