Friday, November 30, 2012

The Next Big Thing (Behind the Scenes at The Storialist)

Writer friend Luisa Igloria (she’s wonderful--read her work here) kindly invited me to take part in this self-interview called The Next Big Thing (not referring to my opinion of myself, thank goodness--referring to what I’m working on now). So, step into my studio/office/laptop/brain, and I’ll share a bit more about The Storialist, and how I use it in my writing practice.

Where did the idea come from for the blog?

I started The Storialist in 2008, when I was living in Vancouver, BC. I was between jobs, and unsure of where to direct my energies. I had been missing writing, and had been reading lots of blogs. One of my favorite blogs was (and still is) Scott Schuman’s The Sartorialist. I so admired how he made his art a part of his daily life. I was originally writing poems about his images (I’d look at the image he posted everyday, and write a corresponding poem). It forced me to write each day, and provided me with a sort of prompt.

The blog has definitely evolved since then. I now respond to many different types of art in my poems. And the connection between my poems and the art is more and more tenuous. I used to worry that the reader wouldn’t see the connection between the image and the words. In the past couple of years, I’ve completed abandoned this worry. I’ve realized it’s not my job to decide how readers interpret my work. It is extremely freeing. More and more, I am giving myself permission to explore whatever I want to in my writing and on this site (hence Fridays, which I see as fun days, where I can post whatever I feel like sharing/working on).

I see The Storialist as my workspace. When I write poems I feel less proud of (which happens all the time), I’m ok with sharing them because it’s all a part of what I’m working on right now. It’s my studio and my sketchbook.

What genre does your work fall under?
This is a daily poetry blog, but I also post thoughts on art, artists, and creativity.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition of your poems?

One time, I was fantasizing about hiring actors to stage and perform my poems. That idea had no legs, but it was fun to think about.

I know I’d like Woody Allen, Tim Burton, and Wes Anderson to collaborate on directing a movie version of my poems (too much quirk?). Let’s make it an animated film...maybe something like Coraline? Bjork might have to make a cameo.

What is the one sentence synopsis of the blog?
Poems inspired by images, updated every weekday (this may change eventually).

Who or what inspired you to create this blog?
I’ve already mentioned Scott Schuman, The Sartorialist.

My husband, Marcus, has always been a huge supporter, inspiration, and source of knowledge about the internet/blogging/Twitter...he has highly influenced my love of social media.

Of course, art is a huge inspiration. Visiting artists’ sites and thumbing through their work gets my gears turning.

Other creative heroes of mine: Lynda Barry, Tim Gunn, Jan Zwicky, Jim Henson.

What else about your blog might pique the reader’s interest?
I used to write my poems and post them on the same day--but now I write them the day before, and pre-post them. It allows me to write under less pressure (one day I will write a book called Procrastinating Effectively!)

I crave my writing time. When I sit down to write something for this site, I begin by pushing all other concerns from my mind (the millions of papers I have to grade, the event I need to finish organizing, the emails I need to respond to, the dinner I should start). Another thing I’ve realized is I have to trust that I will write something. I may not love it, but I can write something, if you give me an hour or hour and a half, a computer, some music, and an image I’m interested in. My writing practice teaches me: there will always be new ideas and words.
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Ok....your turn! If you’d like to take part in The Next Big Thing, just answer these questions on your site (about a book you’ve written, or about your blog), and include a link in the comments section here. Then, pass it along, and invite other writer friends to play.

5 comments:


  1. It's interesting how your focus evolved over time, relying less and less on the images.

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  2. Thanks Hannah. Great to read your back story. I think I'll borrow your last sentence as my own mantra:

    "Another thing I’ve realized is I have to trust that I will write something. I may not love it, but I can write something, if you give me an hour or hour and a half, a computer, some music, and an image I’m interested in. My writing practice teaches me: there will always be new ideas and words."



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  3. I think some of your answers can be taken as great advice, or at least inspire daily goals for other people who write.

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  4. I love it, and your blog! And how you put it all out there, day after day.
    I was just asked to do this, too. So I will see. Which is the big thing, which the small? I ask myself . . .

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  5. I'm glad you found this interesting, everyone! I'd love to hear all of your answers to these questions (Feel free to post your link when you do, Nin, or anyone else!).

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