An Interview with Your Creative Self

1. When did you first discover your passion or curiosity for writing? How did it all begin? Do you remember any people or events attached to this discovery?

I feel like I’ve always loved writing.  I never did the journaling thing until more recently for other reasons.  However, I’ve found that the writing portion of my daily jobs have always been the most fun.

2. They say that writing chooses the writer, not the other way around – that you don’t have much of a choice before you go down with writing fever. But if it were the other way around, why would you say you chose writing (consciously or not) as one of your main mediums for self-expression? What did writing save you from or what did it do for you?

Writing is nearly permanent.  We can tell stories to one another, but the act of writing them or typing them commits them to memory in one form or another.  It’s part of the reason I love books so much.

3. Who was your first mentor in writing — or one of the writers you’ve most admired, and were inspired by? What specifically did you most like about this person or icon?

I’ve never had a mentor, per se.  I’ve had a number of teachers that offered me words of wisdom about my writing.  I had one teacher ask me what my major was in and was completely surprised when I told him Chemistry.  I guess scientists don’t tend to write the same way that others do.  Maybe that’s why Chemistry lab reports were so hard to write for me.

4. What has been your loved ones’ take on your love affair with writing — while growing up (if you’ve been writing from a young age), or at any point through your creative journey – up until the present moment? Have the people closest to you allowed, encouraged and supported your passion — or the arts in general? If not – why do you think they were/are reluctant to it, and how has this affected you?

My loved ones simply accept the bit of writing that I do.  I’m just now making it more of a focus, so maybe that will change in the future.

5. What literary genres or writing styles do you enjoy the most? Reflect on your top 3 – in order of preference. What do you love about each? What are the limitations you find in each – if any?

In the past I’ve written some fiction stories, though I never finished them.  I might do that some day.  I tend to start something and then move on to something else.  Or life gets in the way.  Now I’m more into writing about things that help support people and to help them feel more connected, less alone.  Even though we are electronically connected, it often feels like we are more alone than ever.  I want to remind people that they aren’t alone.

6. What are your strengths or qualities as a writer? What are your talents or skills? If you find this question hard to answer, fight your way through it, until you find at least 3. This is not about perfection but about the ways in which you’ll make faster progress. Think of your strengths or qualities as gateways to mastery. Find these doors.

As a writer, I know I understand most grammar requirements and my spelling is rather impeccable.  This makes the writing process easier and makes it easier for people to read what I wrote.

I also find the words tend to come to me fairly easily.  By that, I mean that they roll off the fingers.  I can write quickly and feel like I’ve written something of substance, rather than a mess of words.

I’m good at being methodical when talking about steps.  My writing can easily be used for training purposes.

7. What are your weaknesses or limitations as a writer? What are the aspects you’ve had less training in or are still fearful or uncomfortable about exploring — which may also be holding you back? What aspects of your writing would you like to improve?

I feel like my vocabulary is often rather simple.  I wish my writing were a little more flowery or colorful.

I feel like my writing tends to be more about me than others.  This is something I would like to transform, to include others in my writing.

8. Where do you write best and under what conditions? If you could have it all, describe your desired writing sanctuary. What (if anything) is keeping you from creating this daily space? Notice the tendency to create excuses: “If I just had this… that… If I could just…” — So you can’t have it all. But…how can you find a way around the not-enough, not-here, not-now, not-you, and come as close as possible to creating a writing nook, where you can get quality time alone to write, and where inspiration is more free to flow?

I don’t feel like I have a certain set of circumstances or conditions that make me write better.  However, I tend to write more quickly without distractions, though I’m sure most people feel the same way.

I need to push myself to write more and I would get more done.  Time to turn off the old episodes of Charmed and sit in front of the computer to write.

9. What would be your ideal writing schedule and what is currently keeping you from doing the work every day? Busyness? Stress? Fear? Self-doubt? If not already a habit, can you begin by booking a few hours with the writing Muse every week? Block them in your weekly calendar, the way you’d act with an important work meeting. If you don’t pay the same attention to your writing as you do to your day job or other important commitments, how do you expect to ever become great at it or make any significant improvement? Begin somewhere. Begin with what you have in front of you, right here and now. Book that meeting. Your soul life hangs on it.

I could probably say I would write more if I didn’t have a day job, but then I’d be lying.  I’d find other things to do if I didn’t work, like playing computer games, reading books, or surfing the web.  I don’t have an ideal writing schedule.

10. What are 3 writing projects / goals you would like to create /accomplish in the next year / 3 years / 5 years? You can choose one specific period, or come up with 1-3 projects for each period (1 year, 3 years, 5 years from today). Please, be unrealistic about your goals. Extraordinary things don’t happen by chance. They happen to people bold enough to believe and attempt them. Your time on this planet is limited. If you’re going to try and turn your heart into art anyway, you might as well go for your wildest dream. Whether it eventually comes true or not shouldn’t stop you from imagining it, and setting out to create it. The joy is in the journey, not the destination.

I’d love to feel better about my writing.  That’s goal number one.  I know I will always have doubts, but I want to lessen them where I can.

The second goal is to start writing as a freelance writer, even if it’s just a couple of articles.  I want to become so good that the content I write ends up published on a nice website, not just my blog.

The third goal is to finally finish my book.  Whether it gets published or not, I don’t care.  I just want it out of my head finally.

11. Think of any aspect about your life, a person or an event that has caused you significant pain or trouble. How could you best alchemize this heartache into words? How can you most optimally reframe your story (or stories) of loss through your writing and recycle your heart into art? Think in terms of what type of project, style, narrative, voice, and literary resources could best illustrate that painful truth that your heart needs to let go of… Take your time.

I honestly am having a hard time with this question.  I can think of one particular event that occurred at my last job that I would love to write about, use it to transform my heartache into something a little more positive, and finally let it go.  I also want to be careful about writing it, and ensure I change any names where necessary.  I don’t want to be seen as a trouble employee.  I made a mistake and I learned from it.

My issue is I’m not sure exactly what I’m supposed to be writing here.  I don’t know that I have a style or narrative for it.  More than likely the words would all just come tumbling out.

12. What are the top 3 fears or feelings of inadequacy regarding your writing, that may be holding you back from exploiting your full potential and jumping from the highest cliff? Can you see how these fears are related to – and maybe even derived from your greater fears in life? Everything is interconnected.

My biggest fear is that I’m not even as good as I think I am.  That no one will ever want to read what I have to write.  I think this is a common fear, and stems from the fear of not being good enough in life.

I’m worried that I’m too childish.  That my topics are too simple.  That my thoughts are too basic.

Finally, I fear never being able to write enough.  I fear losing myself to a hobby or passion such as writing.

13. What makes you come alive? What makes it worth the fight, the trouble and the sweat? What things, people, situations, activities, moments – that may have nothing to do with writing – give you the strength, hope and courage to keep alchemizing the world into words, even if it’s not the easiest, most comfortable, or most “efficient” occupation? What/who do you love? What/who makes you be in heaven for at least a few infinite minutes? What/who sets your heart on fire?

Yoga definitely makes me feel alive.  I love doing it and I love sharing it with my students.

I’ve been on a path within the last year of dealing with depression and anxiety.  I often feel like the medicine kills a lot of my passion, or least how I relay my passion to the world.  Consequently, I feel like there isn’t much that brings my drive and fire out anymore.

14. What would you want the best critique to say about your work? Fast-forward to the moment you read the most rewarding review or praise about your work. What would this read like — in terms of your whole journey as a writer or communicator? You can also think of this critique in the context of your eulogy, if it helps. What does your eulogy say? If writing is just a part of your greater life’s work, write your eulogy in terms of your whole creative journey. How will people remember your creative footprint in the world? What legacy do you wish to leave behind? What matters most to you, when all is loved and lived?

I would want people to talk about how much I changed their lives, for the better.  I want to make the world a better place.

15. Summarize the above critique or eulogy into a short one or a two-sentence epitaph, in the third person. What does your tombstone say about your life, in terms of your creative journey? Why wait for other people to write your epitaph for you? Why not write it yourself TODAY and then try to live up to it? Think of it as a short and meaningful creative mantra to remind you of your purpose.

She cared so much and gave so much there was nothing left of her in the end.

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