get inspired: interview with erin

photo by kate, graphic by me
I have a series of posts about my two favorite things:  creativity and inspiration.  As a "creative" person, I am constantly searching for inspiration to fuel my creativity, and I thought it would be interesting to ask others about what they are passionate about.  This is the forth interview in the series.  See the previous ones here.

I've known Erin since elementary school, and we have been best friends since seventh grade. We've been in multiple English classes together, and let me tell you--she is a queen amongst peasants when it comes to writing.  My favorite thing about her is that she one of the most talented and humble people I know.  

Ever since I've known you, you've written beautifully and thoughtfully. How did you get into writing?
Well, thanks for the praise! I started writing as soon as I learned how words and meanings worked. First grade was really when I began to fill my school journals with stories – my notebook-packed closet can attest to that. My crowning glory of the late 1990’s/early 2000’s was a laminated and bound story entitled “The Leopard.” And I quote: “Father was looking for brekfest. He didn’t come back for a long time. Mother and Father knew they would have to make some sacrifices. The leopards got hung and thirsty.” That genius launched my literary career.

But truthfully, I started writing because I realized I could, while my parents and my teachers praised me. I continued to write because I found language was a remarkable tool with which I could learn about the world and my place in it.

What authors and/or books do you admire most and why? (PS I admire you.)
My favorite literary era is the first half of the 20th century, mainly mid-century. Some of my favorite works include George Orwell’s 1984, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. I think that each of these books is a beautiful combination of macro-social studies, personal history, and poetic expression.

My favorite contemporary author is Dave Eggers. I truly admire not only his writing, but also his success in creating the publishing company/everything brilliant McSweeney’s.

Where do you usually find inspiration for your work?
Absolutely everywhere. One time, I started writing a fragment of a story about a chipped baseboard. I love creating lives and stories for things that, to some, are meaningless or dull. Lately, I’ve been inspired by the city bus. It is a historically good place for people watching, and, as I have to ride it for 40 minutes a day, I find it to be quite conducive to story-making.

What do you do to combat writer's block?
Try not to fight it. Writer’s block is painful and irritating, but I think it is a crucial part of the writing process, the same way editing or cutting is. Sometimes, I just push through it and write absolute crap until I break through to something decent. And then I DELETE. Other times, when I want to pry the keys off the keyboard, I go eat a snack and watch My So-Called Life. It’s o.k. to leave your writing and your thoughts for a little bit, because, often, they have silently worked themselves out by the time you come back to them.

What goals do you have for your writing?
Not too many, actually. I write for myself as a way to understand the world I witness and what I feel about that world. Mostly, I never want to lose the passion I now possess for writing. I would rather write nonsense occasionally in my free time and relish it, than become a novelist or columnist who is only concerned about deadlines and word counts.

You are always making the most adorable things. What are your favorite ways to get crafty?
I love to knit and wrap presents. Christmas is great for me, because I can get cozy with a homemade blanket, knit tiny gifts for my friends/family, and tie up the packages with leftover yarn.

How would you describe your personal style or aesthetic?
I would say it’s pretty eclectic. I think I’m aiming for a classic, vintage look with lots of color and patterns thrown in. Currently, my favorite pieces are a green and aqua plaid coat with a 60’s silhouette and Domenico’s old loafers. I also wear a gold Kate Spade pen necklace nearly everyday. I feel like it epitomizes my style goals and love of writing.

You are the coolest. I love you.
I love you too! Thanks for sharing your coolness everyday. We all admire you.


Lizzie said...

She's awesome! I am definitely inspired...and wanting to watch My So-Called Life again. That show.

shelbyisms said...

I love interviews! Keep 'em coming!