Why do you write?
Why do we breathe? I don’t know how to not write, whenever I’ve gone a long time without being able to I don’t feel like myself. I feel like a fraction of who I am, the bit people tell me I’m supposed to be. It’s like having two hands, but living with one tied behind your back. It’s exhausting.
What books do you read?
Poetry, short stories, novels. I’m a slutty reader, I always have more than one book at a time on the go. I may read a few poems with my breakfast, a story later, and a bit of a novel. I’ve just finished reading The Perks of being a Wallflower, I’m currently reading Phillp Pullman’s Grimm fairytales, and Margaret Atwood’s Bluebeard’s Egg.
What inspires you?
Reading, movies, looking at photographs, looking out the window, museums, old objects, the strange things people say I am probably not supposed to overhear.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer and when?
I’ve never wanted to do anything else. I don’t know how to. I was seven the first time I said it, but later that I year I wanted to be a police woman, but only if I could be the kind that rides a horse. When I was sixteen I thought it again, I battled with it constantly for years before I applied for an MA. I wanted to be normal, but the writing urge was too strong.
How Do you deal with rejection?
It depends, sometimes I have a submission break until I feel like braving it again. I’ve also had policies of if a rejection arrives, something must be submitted the next day. If I’m feeling feisty, two pieces must be submitted for every rejection. Just to show them.
Who are some writers you admire?
Flannery O’Connor, Murakami, Joyce Carol Oates, Lorrie Moore, Keret, Carver, Alice Munro- the list is endless. I admire writers who make me not want to flick and pick up something else.
Is writing the only artistic medium you do?
Sadly it is, I’d love to be able to paint though, make things out of fabric, and things with clay. I’ve also always wanted to be able to whittle. I love getting my hands dirty.
What would be some advice you would give to your younger self?
You had better start writing now. You’ll be happier for it. You will be miserable sometime as well, but that’s OK, you’ll mostly be happier just for doing something you care about, even when it’s not going well.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Tell everyone who doesn’t support that you want to write to go to hell. I know this sounds harsh, but think about it, what people who tell you not to write are really saying is: I don’t care if you don’t do what makes you happy. Sod that. Find some friends who do get it. There are plenty out there.
What is your writing process?
I have an ideal picture of my writing process. I would get up, have some tea, look at no internet and write in the mornings. Then, later on, I would have a nap, then edit something else. In reality, this rarely happens. I am currently trying to train myself into better habits though. I’ve developed a two cup of tea of rule- I get to dick about with random stuff for no longer than it takes to drink two cups of tea. Then, I must work, or punch myself in the face.