Let me introduce you to Erin Brady, a good friend and a poet I’m lucky enough to write with. Check out her work in the links at the end.
Name three books you’ve read recently.
The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, and Barbe bleue (Bluebeard) by Amélie Nothomb.
Also, name three poets who’ve inspired you.
Can I pick five poets? Mark Doty, Carol Ann Duffy, Jack Gilbert, Matthea Harvey, and James Richardson.
Because you like to. Because you want to understand or process things. Because you want to help people understand each other. Because you’ve had a brilliant idea.
What would you like people to be saying about you as a writer after you’re gone?
That I was observant and original.
Tell me about a moment of pure inspiration that you’ve had (either inspiration to write or just in general).
I once had a very memorable (and terrifying) dream about being chased by someone and planned a sequence based on it. I think it’s the only time I’ve ever had the idea for a complete story all at once. It’s not finished yet.
What gets you up in the morning?
Insomnia. Early flights. Morning deadlines. Coffee or tea. Sun.
What is the shape of your writing practice? How do you get it done, stay inspired, plan time, rework, submit, etc.?
I almost never procrastinate when it comes to translating or writing for work, but I need to be much better about carving out time for my own projects. It helps to have a friend or two who wants to do the same, so you can keep each other in check. I make a list of flexible goals every couple of months so that I keep coming up with new material, revising, and submitting. Finally, I like switching up where I write to stay inspired—I love writing outdoors and I have a few different cafés that I frequent in Barcelona.
Advice for people who want to write more or better?
1) Start out by setting small, manageable goals for yourself (write for 10-20 minutes every day) rather than huge ones (write a novel in a month).
2) Meet up with people who also want to write, but be aware of whether you write better alone, with one or two other people, in larger groups, or some combination of these.
3) If you get sick of something you’ve written, put it aside for at least a week and come back to it later. Keep coming back to it if it doesn’t feel ready but there are still lines you like. I’ve finished pieces years after writing the first drafts.
Links to some of your published work online.