When did you first feel like a writer?
As a kid I was drawn to books; the inner worlds they created. I wanted to be a part of that magic. I wasn’t sure in what form it would take, but I knew I was a writer from an early age.
What’s the most interesting thing that has inspired your writing and what was the result?
I suppose the most interesting are my experiences traveling “on the low”: hopping trains, and hitchhiking. I’ve written several poems on the camaraderie of the road. ‘Crew Change’, Straight-Track Jack’, and ‘Hopping Out’, are a few that made their way into the collection, ‘Nights on the Line’.
Paint us a picture: what does your writing process look like? Do you write in coffee shops at night or only on an old type-writer?
I’m a night owl for sure! I feel like my brain can go at my own speed and rhythm at night, the wee hours especially.
I’ve tried going to coffee shops, but I’m pretty incapable of turning off what’s going on around me. It leads to some good writing material though.
Describe your ideal reader: who would your work speak to?
I used to write a lot of letters to friends. I knew I had that one chance from afar, without further explanation, to make them laugh or observe something through my eyes. I think that was a good way to learn to pace yourself, and predict if a reader can keep up with you. I write my poetry like that; like I’m writing friends. I’d hope whoever reads it will feel that intimacy, and if they do, then it’s for them.
Who’s an author you’ve changed your mind about and why?
I’m not sure I’ve changed my mind about any authors. I feel like I’m catching up, reading authors whose names I’ve heard of, but not previously had a chance to delve into until now.
If you could interview any other writer/artist, who would it be and why?
I wish I could have a drink and chat with the late Jim Harrison. I picked up a copy of his collected works this summer when my father was in hospital. Harrison’s poetry quickly became a temporary earth for me to ground my grief.
What motivates you to keep writing?
The process of writing, editing, sharing my observations gives me a great sense of satisfaction.
How do you deal with writer’s block or being overwhelmed by the writing process?
So far I deal with it by letting go. A huge part of writing for me is the inspiration, and mentally processing it. If I have an inspiration, I will try and make myself jot it down, even just a few words; something to feel my way back to it in the future. If I have trouble finding inspiration, I go for a walk. Movement seems to shake things free.
Where would you like to see yourself in a decade? A creative writing teacher? As a best-seller?
I’d like to think I will have published more collections, and grown as an artist.
What has your work taught you about yourself?
I feel I have some value, that my lone experiences are relatable, and my observations have a place.