Artist Statement - Part 1
1. Why do you do what you do?
I suppose this isn't about why I started writing, but about why I continue to write. It's the one area of my life where I feel at peace. It's not that I never struggle as a writer. I do. Lately I am on a veritable rollercoaster everyday. But I never question that this is what I am made to do. It feels right. I feel right when I am creating with words, whether it's a novel, a poem, or a post for this blog... Heck, sometimes, I revel in a finely crafted email reply. I still write people letters, longhand, for fun. I have been known to read the dictionary. I get excited over etymology. This is who I am.
2. How would you describe your own work?
Metaphor heavy. I love a good metaphor. I think I write poetry even when I'm writing prose. I also feel like my work is a reflection of my entire life experience, pieces of everything in a blender, spit out on paper in new form. My work is also searching. I am always using my writing to dig for answers.
3. Why did you choose the kind of materials you're currently working with?
For my purposes, this means fiction. For a long time, I thought I couldn't write fiction. I scribbled scenes but not stories. Instead, I wrote (and published) poems and essays. When I was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, I blamed that for my inability to finish a novel. Then I read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I read it, but I didn't act on it. It sat inside me.
Funny story: We were at a psyche office with my oldest son, back when we were trying to figure out some issues. I ended up really disliking that doctor, but something he said stuck with me. He saw my occupation on a form and asked, "How can you be a writer? You have ADHD." He was genuinely baffled. At the time, I explained that I wrote poems and essays. They didn't require a lengthy attention span. But the assumption that I couldn't do it ticked me off. Sometimes, I want to stop by his office and show him my stack of completed novel manuscripts. Ha! Take that.
Anywho, I decided to write a story for my stepdaughter for her 12th birthday. I used the Bird by Bird method, writing a scene at a time. Since I had a deadline and a purpose, I actually finished it. That was it. I was hooked. I have written quite a number of novels since then, though they are in various states of readiness. I feel good in this kind of writing. I no longer feel restless career-wise. This is it. This is my thing.