1. Do you share your work with your partner or spouse? Does it matter if it’s been published yet?
I don’t. Not because I don’t want to, but my writing is something that is all my own in every sense of the word. You may find this strange, but I’m very embarrassed for people I know in real life (before I became a blogger/ writer) to read my writing, including (and maybe especially) my husband. He asked to read my piece in My Other Ex – AFTER it was published, and even then, I was reluctant.
2. How much of your family and/or closest “friends in real life first” read your stuff. . . .let alone give you feedback about it?
See answer to question one!
3. What do you do with the pieces that continually get rejected -post on your blog? Trash? When do you know it’s time to let it go?
I always either post it on my blog, or submit it elsewhere. When I submit a piece, I’m always confident that it’s good in its way. Good enough for me to feel good about sending it out into the world. If no one likes it, I still do, so there is always a home for it here.
4. Are there pieces you write for one very specific place that, once rejected, you just let go of, or do you rework into something else?
I would rework it, or publish as is, right here. It really depends on which site I am submitting to – is the original the right style? Is it within the site’s word count? Is the topic of relevance?
5. What is your main source of reading-based inspiration (especially you essayists)? Blogs? Magazines? Journals? Anthologies? Book of essays by one writer?
I read a lot – that includes books, blogs, and all kinds of websites. I’ve been inspired to write certain posts before, based on what I read.
6. What tends to spark ideas more for you: what you see/hear in daily life or what you read?
Both. Most of my pieces about parenting and motherhood come directly from personal experience and daily life. Pieces about life in general or my opinions on topics, are usually inspired by what I read/ hear/ watch.
7. Who have you read in the past year or two that you feel is completely brilliant but so underappreciated?
I would say all bloggers I read on a regular basis, though I hesitate to say that they are underappreciated, because I’m sure they have a wonderful community around them!
8. Without listing anything written by Dani Shapiro, Anne Lamott, Lee Gutkind, or Natalie Goldberg, what craft books are “must haves”?
9. Have you ever regretted having something published? Was it because of the content or the actual writing style/syntax? (Obviously we all grow as writers and looking back at our “clunkier” writing can be cringeworthy. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I mean, are there things you wish you hadn’t said out loud either because of what you said or how you said it. I’m not in this position right now, but some things I’d like to write about might get me there. And yet . . . how can I ignore those topics, you know?)
I wrote a very difficult-to-write-and-think-about-post about my mother, and the very next day, my father emailed me, sharing his thoughts on the piece. I didn’t even know he knew I had a blog (see answer to question one). It sparked a conversation I didn’t want to have, but glad I did. However, I have no regrets publishing it. I did consider pulling it when I realized it was being read by people who had some part in it, but it was merely a passing thought. I decided to own the story, because it is MY story.
I would love to read YOUR answers to these great questions! Answer any of them in the comments, or all of them on your blog, and remember to link back to Kristen, who wrote the questions!