A Ten Question Interview With The Artist… Nicole Surginer

Why do you write?

I write mainly because I love the process of creating. Also, I write because there is no better way to be honest with yourself than to write anything and everything that is in your heart. You will write things you would never dare to say!!! It is freeing and the ultimate therapy.

What books do you read?

My absolute favorite book is Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Bronte.She challenged common expectations that woman be beautiful and not regarded for their intellect. She also shed light on the cruel treatment of poor women in her time. Jane Eye is also a fantastic story of true Iove.I also love Candide by Voltaire. However, I typically read eighteenth century poetry rather than books. I have always been obsessed with that era of poetry.

What inspires you?

Emotion is the utmost inspiration. At times when my heart is the most full, whether with love, anger or anguish, ideas flow like a river. Beauty is also a huge inspiration, but not in the shallow sense of the word. Some of the most beautiful things in my eyes are intellect,  compassion, and genuine character. The moon is the most beautiful thing in the world to me so I have numerous poems inspired by this obsession! There is no way I can step outside in the early morning and not be inspired by the sheer beauty of the sky! I also get inspired to write by real world issues that tug at my heart such as world hunger, war and the devastation it causes, the sufferings of refugees and racism.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer and when?

I had an amazing person in my life who would read poetry to me. His passion for Edgar Allan Poe was contagious! I was awakened to the knowledge that writing is beautifully powerful.Good writing leaves a major impact on the heart and mind of the reader in the same way a memory does. Circumstances that drug my heart through the mud within recent years led me to actually start writing as a means to express all the bottled up emotion. In recent months, I summoned the courage to actually share my work and was lucky enough to have done so with the most amazing, supportive Facebook group, Contemporary Poets. My writing has improved tremendously through my interactions with the talented writers of this group,  particularly it’s founder Michael lee Johnson. His talent is astounding and his guidance immeasurable.

How do you deal with rejection?

I really try to stay positive even though it always hurts. Luckily I have yet to experience an editor who made me feel that my work is a complete nightmare.and that really eases the harshness of the blow a bit. Most of the time I just wonder how I can make the poems better and work at them a little more. Other times I take it hard and just stop submitting for awhile. I fight the urge to write I hate you letters in response to having my self esteem annihilated since that is really not who I am. Instead, I just write darker poems!

Who are some writers you admire?

Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Bronte, Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Sylvia Plath and Voltaire. All of these writers were amazingly talented and dared to be different in their times. Edgar Allan Poe delved into the dark and surreal in the era of romantacism, honestly revealing the madness in his mind. Emily and Charlotte Bronte refused to quietly accept that as women, their work could not be taken seriously. Charlotte Bronte actually took one of the first stances on gender equality in writing stating that she ought to be regarded as neither male nor female, rather, a writer. Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning were the ultimate love story.They lived a pure love as they fell in love with eachothers minds and souls and endured against all odds.They were both self taught geniuses.Elizabeth also drew attention to the inequality of women and many other social and political issues such as slavery. Voltaire was a great mind and the ultimate rebel living his life primarily in Exile because of his flair for speaking his mind. Sylvia Plath wrote honestly from her heart regardless of how she would be seen by others.I admire those who are honest of heart and who defy the odds.

Is writing the only artistic medium you do?

Yes. I have no other talent!

What would be some advice you would give to your younger self?

Don’t worry about writing badly or the embarrassment of someone judging it. Just write it all out. Learn from the mistakes.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Stay organized. My biggest problem is organization. I had no formal method since I didn’t start out writing a lot at once, it wasn’t a concern. Before long there were soo many untitled, undated poems, many of which I even forgot having written. Sorting it all out is time consuming and pretty frustrating. Also,  encourage others and offer help to other writers. All writers have to begin somewhere and their support system can be the deciding factor in their success. A writer is sharing their most intimate feelings with you. Be grateful and respectful. Be kind and never let ego guide you.

What is your writing process?

I scribble down random thoughts I have throughout the day, usually a phrase or two, but sometimes only a word. When I have a little break from the madness of the day, I read everything I wrote and add every thought that those words generate. The fun part is connecting everything into a single creation!

Nicole Surginer

Nicole Surginer is a poet from the small town of Bastrop,Texas. She is inspired to write by her love for nature’s enchantment, a fascination with the power of raw, intense emotion and a desire to create beauty with words. She has been published in Tuck Magazine, Anti-Heroin Chic, Indiana Voice Journal, Tuck Magazine with pending publications with Sick Lit Magazine and the Contemporary Poet’s group anthology “Dandelion in a vase of roses”.

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