What is your creative mission?
To give love. Books can drag us out of the darkest places. Often in my life when I had nobody to turn to, I turned to books, and they always made me feel loved. If my books can do that for my readers, I’d die happy.
What do you love about what you do?
Writing makes me happy. I’ve never been so happy in my life. If I only knew that it would have such an effect on me, I’d quit my career and begin writing sooner. Hell, I’d begin writing as soon as I could hold a pen in my hand. But life knocked me about before I finally realized that writing was my calling. Every day I wake up and jump out of bed, thrilled. A new writing day! Yes! Could there be anything better?
What have you learned from your successes/ failures?
To never give up. Failures are fantastic. They teach things. If I didn’t fail, I’d never have learned anything. So I love failing. Again and again and again. And what do you know, with enough failing I stumble on success. And then I fail again. It never ends, so this also has taught me patience. With myself and with those around me. That was a tough lesson to learn.
How do you keep pushing ahead after a difficult challenge?
Cry a bucket of tears, wash my face, drink a bucket of coffee, and get back to work. I know the challenge was temporary. I know I will win. It’s a matter of persevering no matter what. Writing helps. If I feel completely devastated, I write a blog post about feeling completely devastated, and then the devastation is out of me. It’s in the page, and I feel better, and can keep moving forward.
Have you ever encountered resistance from family, friends, or the world in general? How did you overcome those kinds of blocks?
Oh, yes. Big time. It’s a long story. It’s actually why I started writing in the first place. The resistance to admitting the truth of anger and grief and violence in my family has caused them to ostracize me and me to want to kill myself. It wasn’t pretty. I have confronted my father about sexually abusing me, and he has cut me out of his life, after which I wanted to commit suicide. It was my therapist who suggested I start journaling. I did. That is how my first trilogy was born. After that it was my readers who became my new family. And whenever I descend into darkness, it’s my readers who pull me back out. And books. And writing.
How has your art and creativity healed you?
Well, I’m alive. Writing made me want to live.
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?
Do your art every day, no matter how crappy your day is, and no matter how crappy you think your art is. It takes years of doing bad art to produce great art. Whatever your art may be. If it’s writing, it will take years of writing for you to write anything good. So armed with this knowledge, don’t be afraid to write crappy books. They will teach you a great deal. Without practice you simply don’t stand a chance. I wish someone told me this when I started. It would’ve saved me a great deal of worry and anguish and fear. I was terrified of writing a bad book and would feel paralyzed or even blocked. But once I realized it’s okay if my books are bad, it freed me up. And, miraculously, the end result wasn’t bad at all. So you see, the only steps you have to take is practice what you want to do every day, every single day. Then it will become habit and you will do it without thinking. And then you will keep doing it because it will become a part of your life. And one day you will see that what was your dream has become a reality.
Hey you. Wanna share your wisdom?