Describe your piece that was published in Dancing With The Pen. How did you get your idea for the piece? Take us through your writing process.
My poem “What Makes You Happy?” basically was formulated from the idea of as we grow older our optimism fades and we forget the simple joys that made us happy as children. After I conceived that idea the words seemed to flow from there. That’s how most of my pieces start. I get a flash of an idea and I immediately have to put it to paper or it escapes me. So, usually I always carry around a notebook no matter where I go so if I suddenly get an idea I can write it down. I suffer from writer’s block when the ideas don’t come at all. But that’s rare, usually I can’t write the words down fast enough.
Have you been writing for a long time? What do you like about writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember but I originally hated to write, probably because I wasn’t very good. But, as I learned how to write better I discovered that it was actually quite enjoyable and another way to express myself, other than artistically. I love being able to convey stories, information, as well as to debate, discuss, and analyze current social and cultural issues and topics. Now writing is my vice, I can’t live without it and sometimes it controls and dictates my life. I’ve been known to write ideas in ink on the back of my hand before. People call me crazy but I would rather be crazy than normal.
What does it mean to you to have your piece included in this book?
I was thrilled when I received news that I was going to be published in Dancing with the Pen. I know all too well the sting of rejection so it was not only an honor but a relief to be published, validating that I was doing the right thing by continuing to write. If you don’t get reaffirmation about your work, no matter what you do, it’s a struggle to continue because you question whether you have anything to offer the world. Is your work good enough? Should you keeping working at it or quit? All I have to say about that is don’t ever quit. If it’s your destiny to work for five years until you get your big break, contemplate whether you would be willing to wait and work that long. Then you will truly know that you’re doing the right thing.
Do you have any advice for other writers, or for other young people going after their dreams?
Never let a single person convince you of anything you don’t believe. If someone rejects you or tells you no keep going and working until you get what you want. The only way you can truly fail is if you stop working altogether.
Can you share a few of your favorite books or authors?
I absolutely love Jeanette Walls’ memoir The Glass Castle. I’m also a huge fan of the works The Catcher in the Rye, Wicked, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. One of my favorite authors is Gregory Maguire.
What inspires you?
You inspire me, all of the different life stories of individuals all across the globe are such huge inspirations for stories, articles, poetry, and every other form of writing. I love getting to know people for that reason because everyone has a fascinating story, even if they don’t think so. Stories of love, loss, longing, and life in general. I’m also inspired by locations. Whenever I travel to someplace new, whether it’s local or international, my mind creates a story around the setting, whether it’s sitting in a city diner, getting inspired to write a story about a waiter turned underground rockstar, or strolling down a boulevard, picturing writing a poem about the cracked pavement beneath my feet.
What’s next for you?
Currently, I’m working on several projects including a novel and a collection of poetry that I hope to complete within the next few months.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Yes, please check out my literary blog “Louder Than Words” at http://korinachilcoat.blogspot.com or contact by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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