I have been nominated by the lovely Kelsey Hoff to do the Writing Process Blog Tour. I really don’t know who to nominate, so I’m just going to say that if you happen upon this and you want to do it, go for it. I nominate you.
What are you working on?
Unfortunately, not much at the moment. At least creatively. Since starting grad school, my time has been spent trying to reacclimate to being a scholarly student, rather than used trying to craft my creative work. I would love to update this a bit more often than I have been, thus working a bit more on my more creative nonfiction. I’ve been writing more poetry lately, though, which has been nice. I missed it.
Graduate school has opened up a whole new set of experiences, some really frustrating, others really exciting. That probably has a lot to do with the recent desire to pick up a notebook and philosophize again.
How does your work differ from others of its genre?
I mean, is anything really all that different anymore? I’d argue that my experiences make my work a bit different than others, but that’s a true statement for everyone. No one experiences events in the exact same way; we all have different perceptions on what happens around us.
Why do you write what you do?
The writing process has changed drastically for me over the years. When I was younger and first started writing poetry (and fiction), I would share it with everyone. Even though it was complete crap. And people were lovely and liked it and said I was great, yadda yadda. I remember sharing all of my poetry with my eighth grade English teacher. God bless her. I don’t know how she got through it. But, she was super encouraging and lovely. As I got older, though, writing became much more intrinsic. I wrote for myself. Because I didn’t understand what was happening. Or, rather, I couldn’t process what was happening without it first being on the page. I’m still in that stage. I’m not one to really share my work anymore. I mean, aside from what I post on here.
I’d also say that I write what I write because it’s what I would want to read. I live by the quote by Toni Morrison that basically states that if there’s a story you want to read, but can’t find, then you need to write it.
How does your writing process work?
This differs depending on what I’m working on. If I’m working on a piece of prose/fiction, I tend to just open the laptop, listen to some jazz, and write. I do suffer from the whole “editing before actually being done” curse with my fiction. Which is probably why I never finish anything. I also tend to create a heavy backstory chart with the characters and the world.
My poetry literally just happens. Everything inside of me ruminates for however long it needs to ruminate, and I get a sense for what I need to write, but it’s not until I feel ready to write it that I can actually write it. I have, occasionally, gotten some great lines that just exist on the page alone until I can find a way to work them into a poem. But, nine times out of ten, I just wait until I get the “okay, I can write a poem about this” feeling and then I write it. I rarely edit my poetry. It exists as it exists. I’d probably only edit a poem if I wanted to send it in for publication, and that’s probably never going to happen. So. I feel most confident in my poetry.
I’m probably the most strict about my creative nonfiction. I tend to write it in chunks, though there’s also a lot of rumination that occurs, as well. I feel least confident in my creative nonfiction.
In general, though, I must have coffee or tea and music. If I don’t, nothing productive will happen. Music is my creative harbinger.
And, there we go. You may have learned something new about me, but probably not.