Craft, Process, Work, Writing

What People Told Me

MoonPracticing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. – Kurt Vonnegut

I am obsessed with how people work, especially people who work at writing or art making. I want to know everything: what pen they write with, when they painted their first picture, and why they feel compelled to create. In the past two years I’ve been lucky to interview writers and a few artists. The people I interviewed were remarkably generous with their time and thoughts. The words they shared with me were smart and inspiring and they help me show up to the blank page every morning. I thought I would share some of my favorites here.

People talk about inspiration, but like most artists I know that have lasted, I just get up and paint. – Andrew Moore

I visited Andrew Moore at his home and studio on Martha’s Vineyard. This was the second article I had ever published and it was a magical piece to report and write. Andrew is a talented painter with a fierce dedication to his work.

Because that’s what art is, as an organic, living thing: you’re directly influenced by what you absorb daily. – Domingo Martinez

It’s hard for me not to rave about Domingo Martinez. He wrote a really incredible first book but he is also one of the most talented, humble, and hilarious people I’ve ever encountered. I interviewed him via email for the Slice Magazine website.

2012-06-27_1340827609 copyI have pared my daily routine down to a monk-like sequence, so that I can be alive on the page. – Jennifer Tseng

Jennifer is a poet and fiction writer who lives on Martha’s Vineyard. I have never met someone so committed to their craft. Like many of the people I have interviewed, Jennifer surprised me with the time and attention she gave to me and my questions.

You learn to untether yourself from your version of the correct. – David Saltzman

I talked with David in a coffee shop in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s an attorney who started studying fiction writing in 2012. He was a great person to interview: excited, passionate, smart.

typewriter… we are alive in a magnificent time for writing right now. – Roxane Gay

If you don’t know Roxane Gay, you should. Enough said.

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