What is your creative mission?
Stories have power. That fact has been clear to me my whole life. The books I read had the power to show me things, take me to new places, share incredible adventures with me, and make me think about things in new ways.
I want to use that power to write about the topics I’m passionate about—faith, redemption, violence against women, even the fact that stories have power. In my upcoming novel Somewhere Only We Know, I discuss all of these.
What do you love about what you do?
Writing is how I can inspire people. It is how I can do my small part to change the world.
What have you learned from your successes/ failures?
Hard work pays off. If this is what you want to do with your life, then dedicate yourself to it fully. Commit yourself to telling stories, and then be constantly striving towards that goal. The times that I’ve failed have been when I wasn’t fully invested in writing as my career.
How do you keep pushing ahead after a difficult challenge?
If you have truly committed yourself to being a writer, you just keep going. Writing is something I have to do. And each challenge I face is just an opportunity to keep growing.
Have you ever encountered resistance from family, friends, or the world in general? How did you overcome those kinds of blocks?
I don’t think I’ve come into any explicit resistance, but ever since I became a stay-at-home writer I finally understood a piece of advice my favorite professor gave me—“No one cares if you write.” The world doesn’t care if you get your word count in, or finish that book by the end of the month. No one cares if you ever write anything at all. And there’s no one who is going to check in on you and make sure you got your work done. You have to have to do it. Writing has always been a necessity for me, and that keeps me focused during the long days at home when I sometimes want to just read and play with my dog.
How has your art and creativity healed you?
I’ve struggled throughout my life with depression and my faith, and writing was the one lifeline that kept me going through the roughest parts. Being able to create stories gave me hope in a better future.
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?
Figure out what you have to say. One of my favorite quotes is by F. Scott Fitzgerald—“You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” I believe that everyone has something important to say, and writing is the best way to share it with the world. And once you figure out what’s important enough for you to say something about it, the writing part is easy.
Hey you. Wanna share your wisdom? Answer the 7questions of Creativity here.