What is your creative mission?
Primarily, I want to create works that are enjoyable but also give readers an opportunity to view things from another perspective. I want to challenge my readers, but allow them to enjoy themselves along the way as much as they can. That doesn’t mean I write empty stories, so much as I try to write something that readers can get sucked into, feel it could be real, and exercise their mind as part of the process.
What do you love about what you do?
This is actually a pretty selfish answer, but what I love the most about what I do is the process I go through in writing. For me, writing is about going through the thoughts and various possibilities of life in my head, and determining a story in which characters are attempting to make sense of it all. It’s therapeutic in that way, and I hope for the readers who I connect with, it is for them as well.
What have you learned from your successes/ failures?
I’ve learned to be much more humble, and that we all can always improve in any aspect of our lives. Successes should be celebrated, but failures, in my opinion, are much more important to take note of. When we can identify our failures we can then use them as an opportunity to improve ourselves. It can be disheartening at times, but living in a bubble of self-congratulation doesn’t push any of us furthers as humans.
How do you keep pushing ahead after a difficult challenge?
When I encounter a difficult challenge, I try to take a step back and put it into perspective. Evaluating the challenge objectively and looking for alternate solutions to it can be one of the best ways to ensure you continue to move forward. If all else fails, taking a break and stepping away to allow things space to sort out works wonders.
Have you ever encountered resistance from family, friends, or the world in general? How did you overcome those kinds of blocks?
Plenty! It can be depressing and lonely at times to feel like you are considerably different from others – and I know at times I’ve felt that way. Over time though you learn that all of us have our own weird idiosyncrasies and that they are part of what makes us uniquely human. I double-majored in philosophy and journalism in college, and while journalism taught me a lot of useful skills for my professional career, philosophy taught me a lot about how to think, and how to understand the ways in which others think. I have a hard time with empathy sometimes, but when I focus on it, and logically go through how another’s views on life might affect their response to my own, I find it’s easier to come to an understanding. No, we’re not all alike – and sometimes people will react negatively to you, especially when you offer something that challenges them (I know I am guilty of the same reactions myself), but accepting that each of us different and allowing us to be different has been extremely helpful in living an understanding, creative life.
How has your art and creativity healed you?
As I mentioned earlier, art and creativity are very therapeutic for me. Besides being a writer, I have been a musician since I was ten years old, and I dabble from time to time with painting and art. I by no means consider myself to be a good artist, but I do find it to be very helpful as a way to express myself and work through thoughts that I can’t simply put into words. In that way, my art and my writing tend to be quite personal. While not necessarily representations of myself, I do project myself quite a bit onto what I create. As a philosophy student, and someone who thinks through a pretty rational, scientific-based method, I see life as a string of endless possibilities, and I find myself working through all of these different possibilities in my head. Oftentimes what comes out in my art is the darker versions of those possibilities – the version of a possible self of which I am not, but feel I (or frankly any of us) could become, if our vision of ourselves was somehow distorted.
What are your NFA Bullet points? What steps would you recommend for anyone who wants to kick some ass and get their creative dreams off the ground?
Write stuff down. Anything you think of, write it down. Some of it is genius, some of it’s crap. You can figure out which is which later on. And remember, some of your genius will still be crap to some people. C’est la vie. Just accept it, and move on. Still, don’t ignore feedback – use it as a way to improve your work. Art is communication, and we can all improve our communication. It’s the only way we build connections in life, and the only way we continue to exist after our bodies have long since worn out.
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