Most writers have day jobs and frequently have difficulty finding writing time. How do you manage it?
Finding time for writing is a huge challenge for me. I have a day job, as do most, and am also a musician, which basically means that I’m constantly trying to maintain three careers at once. Needless to say, this requires a lot of drafting and redrafting of lists. Usually there are two things that help me make sure I make time to write. The first is a project I feel passionate about. This anthology is an excellent example of something that felt extremely important to me, something I didn’t want to miss. The second is a deadline. If I have a hard and fast deadline that’s being imposed by an external source I will absolutely find time to make it happen. In the case of this essay, I had to put in some late nights to get it done, all of which I had scheduled ahead of time. I doubt I would have been so diligent had I not had a hard deadline to meet.
How long have you been writing and do you perceive your writing to have evolved in any particular way that you would like to share?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but I only decided to write professionally less than a year ago. I think the biggest difference I can point to since making that decision is a more cohesive voice. Part of the reason I began taking my writing more seriously was because I understood that I had a point of view I wanted to share with others, so I’ve been trying to be diligent about having a cohesive voice as I do so.
What appealed to you about being a part of the Pact Press Speak and Speak Again anthology?
The shock, despair, and uncertainty I felt the morning after the presidential election were profound. I truly didn’t know what to do with myself, wandering the streets of New York and looking for a way to explain what was happening to me, my friends, my values, and my country. When my editor from Entropy Magazine sent me this writing opportunity I was immediately interested. I’ve always processed my thoughts and emotions through either my music or my writing and this was a perfect opportunity to work through my confused ideas.
What do you think is the responsibility of the writer in today’s polarized environment?
I think the responsibility of the artist is always the same – to express thoughts and ideas that provoke others out of complacency and into critical thought. As long as there has been society there have been ills in need of our attention, and it’s our lot to point to them, and to encourage others to point to them as well until we’ve come together to create a lasting solution. The artist needs to have an opinion and to express it clearly. Often this is an uncomfortable space to occupy but it’s how societies move forwards – by sharing ideas.
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