The fiercely talented and magical mkimarnold tagged me in the writing process chain letter that has been going around. Mary-Kim is one of my favorite writers & people, and I feel blessed that I knew her BEFORE she became famous for taking over from ROXANE GAY as Essays Editor at The Rumpus (!!!)). Mary-Kim’s writing is incredible and scarily inventive and if you are not familiar I encourage you to be so. Also if you ever have the opportunity to ditch AWP and get burgers with her, do that. I do.
What are you working on?
Mostly I am trying not to drown under feelings that I am useless and terrible and wasting my life and incapable of every accomplishing ever. I mean I have projects? But it’s been a difficult summer, and if other people were able to set aside the world completely fucking melting down this week and work on their writing projects, kudos to them! I was not. Sorry to be real! But OK when I’m not being an emotional dishrag in front of twitter because of all the powerful images of people standing with their hands in the air while undereducated police militia point assault weapons at them, I’m working on two novellas (one about Amanda Bynes, one about Kim Kardashian) and a book about celebrity twin sisters. Which, like, to see it written out like that makes me want to give up completely about the futility of my life.
How does your work differ from others of its genre?
I think this is a terrible question and whoever decided to include it in this chain letter has a lot of growing up to do.
Why do you write what you do?
Like this whole thing was written by a white male who is ALL FIRED UP about his MFA. GIve me a break with this special snowflake magic of writing shit. I write the things I write because they are interesting to me. Or not even interesting, it’s just what’s in my head for some reason, so that’s what needs to be cleared out. I write because I get jealous of other writers and worried I’ll get left behind. I write because I have literally no other hobbies. I write because I get really fucking crazy if I don’t, the end.
How does your writing process work?
I try to find hours or parts of hours here and there, when there isn’t life/family/work/laundry/dishes/whatever to attend to. The phrase “carving out time” is very real to me. It feels like that, a physical act, the strenuous and exhausting work of finding and shaping and pulling this time out of the huge fucking complicated tangle of life. A lot of the “writing” happens in my head when I’m away from a keyboard, arranging the pieces mentally so I can just get it all down as soon as I have an hour to myself. Often in conversations with people I’m nodding my head but not really listening, I am using that time to figure out what happens next in my story. Evernote is very helpful b/c I can dump things into my phone or my work computer or my laptop and later it’s mainly just cutting & pasting & editing. I work slowly. It’s ridiculous. It’s a joke, how long it takes me to accomplish something that any 20 year old blogger could spit out in 20 minutes while standing in line at Starbucks.
THE END. That was fun, right? Sorry this is a downer, it’s been a week. Now I will tag amyspalding lest the chain become broken and my soul become forfeit. Amy has written some of my favorite books, and she has one of the best and healthiest attitudes towards the balancing act of writing/work/life that I have ever seen. She is an amazing writer and a daily inspiration to me.