1. How do you define “writer”? Do you consider yourself to be one?
Part of me wants to say that a writer is someone who puts forth time and effort into literary projects, regardless of their publishing status. But when people ask me what I do, I hesitate to say “I’m a writer.” Instead I tell them about my 9-5 job. Shouldn’t I own it more, if I’m putting in all that time and effort?
2. What is your passion when it comes to writing? (novels, non-fiction, poetry, short-stories, children’s books, journaling, etc.)
YA novels are my passion. I’ve been writing for fun since I can remember being able to form letters. When I took creative writing classes in high school and college, my characters were usually teenagers, but I didn’t think I’d write YA. When I was in grad school I took a class on Shakespeare and, for my final project, wrote a series of YA short stories dealing with tropes/images from Shakespeare’s plays. I realized that I spent way more time and effort on those stories than I did with more “literary” ones. My thesis ended up being a YA novel and I haven’t looked back since.
3. What do you read as a writer? What types of books have you read in the past six months?
I read a lot of YA, branching out into literary fiction and occasionally nonfiction. I say I don’t read a lot of fantasy or sci-fi, but that’s becoming increasingly less true. In the last six months I’ve read a fair amount of YA novels and a few classics.
4. Do you write what you read or would you consider it?
Definitely. (See answers to #2 and #3.) I’d like to try writing more nonfiction–either creative nonfiction essays or columns.
5. What two genres stand out in your mind the most?
YA and fiction in general.
6. Do you write for others, or is your writing strictly private?
I submit my work, but I’m still fairly private with my work. I don’t show it to most people outside of the literary circle. When I’m working on something, I don’t tend to talk about it a lot; otherwise I feel like I won’t be able to change things if people expect it to come out a certain way.
7. Would you like to share your writing with others someday?
Yes! I’ve been published in a few journals and it’s a thrill.
8. What is the biggest gift that writing has given to you?
It’s a place for all the stories in my mind to go. Even if I didn’t have any aspirations about writing as a career, I’d still want to write.
9. What keeps you motivated to write?
Reading great books and thinking “What if I could do this, too?” Or reading bad books and thinking “I could do better.” Being part of a writerly community (in real life and online) that encourages great work.
10. What writing goals have you set for yourself in 2012?
Revise my current novel, finish a draft of the new one. Blog regularly.
Now it’s your turn! How do you see yourself as a writer? Feel free to share your thoughts at Swagger, here, or in your own blog.