I was nominated by Kelsey Hoff to do the lovely Writing Process Blog Tour. I, in turn, nominate The N Weekly, for one because I think she should write more, and two, because I lack writers on here that I actually know. I also nominate Creative Imaginations, because it another blog I quite enjoy.
What are you working on?
I am currently working on two different profiles for my grad school writing workshop—one is a profile of gender, the other is a profile of sailing. While I am interested in both of these ideas, I am having a hard time latching on to either one of them. I would rather be writing memoir, which is evident in the very cool memoir essay I wrote while I was trying to work on my gender profile.
I am also working on getting the draft of my full length memoir to publication the end of this year. I’ll be doing some local readings and such for it in the near future. I think that, because I’ve had so much success with memoir, it’s put me into a box writing-wise that I don’t really know how to get out of. I worry that I can only be good at one thing, so I am trying to force myself to be different.
How does your work differ from others of its genre?
In terms of my profiles, I’ve been told that I have a very unique way of approaching a subject, and that I’m good at drawing the reader in and making them as interested in that subject as I am. In terms of memoir, I think I have a gift for dialogue. I can recall important conversations that have happened in my life almost word for word, which allows me to include them in my nonfiction without worrying about getting something wrong. I believe that my ability to work in accurate dialogue is a large part of what makes my writing interesting. But the further I get into the world of writing, the more I realize that my story is similar to the stories of many other people—I just tell it differently.
Why do you write what you do?
I think that part of the reason why is that I want validation for my experiences. I want people to tell me that it’s okay, that’ll it get better. Or I want them to tell me “yay!” when something good happens. But I think that the main reason is that I just don’t know any other way to handle some things. The only way I have found to successfully tackle and get over certain experiences is to write about them. I can write about things in a way that I can’t talk about them. I think I also have a tendency to get stuck emotionally, and then wherever I’m stuck is what I try to write through.
How does your writing process work?
I’ve been struggling with the writing process since I moved to New York. Because everything around me is different, so too is my writing process. I find that I actually write better now with distractions—in the grad student lounge, in front of the television, in the park—than I do writing in silence. I have a shoebox of quotes that I keep in the closet; I pull from those a lot to include in my writing. Lately, I’ve started carrying around a Moleskine that I write down random ideas in, or things that I see. That way I can pull it out later and weave those ideas into new pieces.