Today we have Jordan-Marie Smith from Where Lies My Tarp? here with us to talk about her thoughts on the writing process and what her source of creativity comes from. I have known Jordan since the near beginning of high school, and she is simply AWESOME.
JMS will be graduating from high school in June. She will be attending American University in the fall with a major in International Relations and a minor in Journalism. Jordan enjoys writing various short stories and poetry (both fiction and non-fiction), all of which come from experiences that she has gone through in reality. When it comes to writing, it is her wish that readers will be able to "feel the weight of the characters' emotions". Her favorite color is black.
TRA: Why do you write? What drives you, inspires you?
JMS: Frustration, anger, and the inability to be honest with myself forces me to write. I'll create a character who acts as myself and faces the same complexities in her life between her boyfriends, her mental illness and the world in general.
TRA: Every writer goes about the writing process in different ways; it's a unique experience for everyone. Tell us, what is the writing process like for you?
JMS: I don't really have a process. If you mean process in terms of planning when to write, I've never really been into that (as you can see from my lack of recent blog posts). I've tended to trust myself to spontaneously burst onto the keys of my Netbook and begin. I will say, though, that I must must must have music to write, especially creative writing. I find it much harder to sit and write and not get distracted when I don't have music. When I have something playing in my ear, it seems that it almost guides me beat for beat into beautiful words. I usually listen to UNKLE, Radiohead, Underoath, Boards of Canada or Crystal Castles--powerful and unique.
TRA: What is your favorite piece that you have written and why?
JMS: These are actually a bunch of pieces made into one big piece, but I'd have to say "The Masses" is my favorite. It's essentially a collection of very short stories written about people that I may or may not know or may or may not be me. For instance, one is about a girl who despises the company of others, another is about a boy urging to be a stud...there are others about a girl stalking a couple on a date, a girl alone and hopeless, and more. I am an observer by far (maybe even to an extreme extent). I love wondering what people's lives are really like below the shadowy exterior, even if I have to make those people up.
TRA: What is your favorite book and why?
JMS: Oooooo! I know this one! A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies by John Murray! It's pretty much the same as "The Masses", but I hadn't known that when I'd written it. The book has at least seven short stories about different people's lives. Some of the running themes are dense and include marriages that are falling apart, Indians (whom I love), immigration and the loss of home, helping others through medicine, and realizing that your life may not be what you want. I absolutely love this book, he writes so beautifully and speaks so truthfully about human nature.
TRA: Tell us about your literary accomplishments.
JMS: Hmmm, well I am the Editor-in-Chief of my school's Literary Magazine and have been the Assistant Editor of my high school newspaper's Entertainment section. I wish I could have devoted the time to writing a short book or novella, or to winning an essay contest but as of yet I still have achievements to make. My mother constantly urges me to write because she sees that as my way of making a difference on the world, so I'm taking her advice and--in the near future-- plan to start concocting more short stories to make in a novella.
TRA: When you suddenly get a brand new idea, do you first plan out what you're going to write or just wing it?
JMS: Sometimes I plan what I want to write. I wanted to do a weekly syndication article and that was called Inspiration Fridays. But most of the time I just write what I want, when I want.
TRA: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
JMS: Your sucess is built upon your perception. You may not be where you want to be in a year or two as a writer, but if you can tell that you have grown as a person and as a writer - you've made it.
TRA: If you could ask anybody, living or dead, any question at all, who would it be and what would you ask?
JMS: ....[ten minutes go by]. I would ask God for 13 more questions. I'd ask if aliens were real and for him to give me their history in American culture. I'd also ask about the secrets of the presidencies, when the world will end, why he put us through pain, what Heaven and Hell are like, how the world will end, and such questions like that.