We’re pretty close to half way through the blog tour now. Here’s today’s interview. The original can be read here and here.
My name is Amrita. I’m 26 years old. I have an M.A. in English. I’m currently doing my M.Phil. My interests are in literature, Psychology, music, film and comedy. My blog’s called Of Opinions, where I write on Psychology, culture, writing and blogging. Don’t be put off by its name, I promise you it is more interesting than it sounds!
What is the first piece you remember writing (from childhood or young adulthood)?
Apart from the many overenthusiastic school essays and personal poetry, the first piece I remember being excited about was a short story I wrote when I was thirteen. It was for the school magazine, and it was called Shakespeare in Space. Sadly, it got rejected, and I don’t have a copy of it either. I remember Shakespeare being very excited (and very wordy) to be in space.
What is your favorite aspect of being a writer? Your least favorite?
My favorite aspect of being a writer is the complete sense of engagement the act of it brings. Musician Craig Wright has called art a “collateral” experience to life, but writing makes me feel more alive than anything else.
My least favorite is, of course, the loneliness. I cannot create in an environment of chaos and as much as writing makes me feel alive and passionate, I miss the ability to not have anyone around to share that passion. Writing itself isn’t lonely however. I see it as conversations, as excitedly sharing a story with someone who is, genuinely, as excited by it. But, physical loneliness can never be compensated by literary togetherness.
Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, what is your best tip for beating it? If not, why not?
I do believe in writer’s block. In my case, I’ve usually found it to be a life block. The more I write, the more I find that it is better to have all your ideas out, even before you consciously think about them, than to be creatively blocked in waiting for the right idea. Creatively, I see writing as a series of decisions, right from a plot or a character one, to one of narrative flow, to one of syntax or choice of words.
With a life block, it is more specific, and you have to see for yourself how to solve it. With a creative block, to reiterate what I just wrote, just let your doubts rest and let all your clumsy, stupid, silly ideas out. Then, preferably after some time has gone by, go back and see what can be done with them. With my blogging, I find, pieces that I often hate myself or find to be too awkward or silly, somehow, don’t get received in that way. You can never have reins over perfection. You just gotta keep swimming, and believe that someone will notice if they see anything of value.
What is your current writing project? What is the most challenging aspect of your current writing project?
My current project is my M.Phil thesis on the representation of women in the music of women rock artists of the 1970s. I’ve also been peripherally working on other ideas and, of course, on my blog as well.
My primary current writing project ( my heart gives a few anxious leaps if I say or write its name! ) has been the most difficult thing I’ve done in my life. The ratio of life block to creative block is 70:30 for this. I love what I write about; it just hasn’t been the right time in my life to write about it. But, the work is more important than I am. Another potential ‘women in rock’ book may not do the world any good but, I will nevertheless try my best to give these artists their critical due which many of their contemporary and extremely sexist critics, did not.
What supports you in your writing?
An immense, deep-set, unshakeable, complete, crystalline love for art. High and low, past and present, fine and applied. Art sustains me, gives me enthusiasm for life, gives me courage to do something to make my life worthwhile, and most of all, makes me feel highly grateful to be alive. Nothing else, but to be in the vicinity of art, makes me want to write. I see writing as an act of love, and that love is motivating enough to support me through thick and thin.
What are you currently reading?
Still soldiering on with The Goldfinch!
Where can our readers find you and your books online?