AN INTERVIEW WITH MYSELF
This interview first appeared in my head October 30th, 2009
How long have you been writing?
Who am I? How can I ask myself questions?
There are people who want to know, the audience.
I've been writing since sixth grade. I'm prolifically unpublished.
Why do you write?
I write because I want to know how it turns out. I write because it's my answer to impermanence. I write because I don't feel like I have a choice. I write because writing helps me know myself. I write because writing keeps me in touch with my humanity and the humanity of this world. I write because suffering is as beautiful and as natural to life as winter is to summer and spring is to fall. I write because writing helps me not to feel alone. I write so others will know that they are not alone. I write because it moves me. I write because writing is a gateway to my heart.
Nice. That was nice. Thanks.
What do you write about?
What gives life meaning? How can we live more fully and with more happiness?
I have found this to be pervasive, in myself and in others, that there's this feeling of not being good enough, this feeling of inadequacy, of insufficiency, of deficiency, as if this moment isn't enough, as if we're not enough, as if we're trying to get somewhere before we can rest and be happy. If only we could do this or if only we could get that, then we could rest and truly enjoy life. It's as if we're always putting it off, trying to get to some perfect destination. How can we live more fully and with more enjoyment? This is what interests me. I write about people realizing the ways in which they have been their own worst enemies, then realizing that they are also their own best friends. I write about the great abyss that all of us are standing before and how we look at it. I write about loss. Of course, what I'm writing about, is my own heart. The struggles, joys, difficulties, loves and hardships of my own heart.
Why are you putting your work here?
I'm not good at targeting the right market and then sending my writing to the right person. That doesn't interest me. I just want to write. The business of writing, well, it's a lot of business. I don't want to be in business. I want to write. What wants to be written is what gets written. In publishing, there seems to be a lot of formula writing and guessing about what certain markets might want. Literary agents and publishers, they're like junkies at the race-track, trying to figure out which horse is going to be the next winner. They want authors with established markets. They want people who are famous. They want books like other books that have already done well. I'm interested in being authentic. I'm not interested in being like somebody else. I just want to write. This is me. This is my writing. I have no idea what genre I would fit in. I don't think literary agents (laughing) or publishing houses do either. Maybe if I sell a lot of books here, then they'll be interested in publishing me. I'm not worried about it. If it's meant to happen, it will happen. That's not what it's about for me. I enjoyed writing these stories. They entertained me and I hope they entertain others. They helped me learn about life, helped me come to terms with different aspects of life, and I hope they help others too. If others read these stories and enjoy them and learn some things along the way too, then that's great. That's all that matters.
What's the next step for your writing?
I'd like to find an editor. Everything I've written is very raw. That's good in its own way. It's pure. It's straight from my heart, but I'm very much not an editor. I'm a writer. To me they're two very different jobs. I write and just let it all come out. I write and I just cry my eyes out. I like that, and that's fine with me, but I can also appreciate the value of an editor. A lot of people, when they write, they get caught in trying to make it perfect, somehow better, going over the same line, trying to find the best word, and then they just get all stymied and never get anywhere. They don't get that flow. I just let it go. The words come out. The story comes to life. But sometimes it gets long and a little windy. I can see how an editor could make these stories better, trim them up and take off a little of that fat, but that's not a job I'm interested in on my own. I need someone who knows that editing job. Maybe, in time, that person will come along. I'm putting it out there.
Are you working on any current projects?
Always. Until I'm dead.