Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Amanda Reeves

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews

I am honoured and privileged that the following writers local, national and international have agreed to be interviewed by me. I gave the writers two options: an emailed list of questions or a more fluid interview via messenger.

The usual ground is covered about motivation, daily routines and work ethic, but some surprises too. Some of these poets you may know, others may be new to you. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I do.

Amandawrites

Amanda Reeves aka Enola Revfore

Born and raised in Dallas Texas, Amanda is a petsitter for Rover.com. She started writing when she was nine years old, and has been writing ever since. She longs to travel, see the world and experience all that she can while writing. She has guest posted for RTOR, and has recently been published in Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest.

Her website is https://amandareeveswrites.wordpress.com/my-blog/

The Interview

What inspired you to write poetry?

Good question! When I was a kid I use to write my own song lyrics and I would sing them. I was a great singer, but when I sang on stage for the first time in front of a crowd, I hated it and I just wanted it to be over. I got tons of compliments, so I didn’t understand why I felt this way, but I thought about it for a while; I realized that with my lack of people skills, and my constant need to escape, I just wasn’t cut out to be a musician. I mourned this realization for a very long time, but once I accepted it, I focused more on writing poetry and fiction.

Who introduced you to poetry?

I was never actually introduced to poetry, it just came naturally to me. I was never into reading much as a kid, it was all about singing and songwriting. My family, most of my teachers, and various counselors didn’t support my writing because they didn’t like the content. However, I did have a huge crush on Eminem! So I guess if anyone introduced me to poetry, it was him.

How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?

Hmmm, I don’t think I was very aware at all. I was very disconnected when I was younger, so I just didn’t care. I was over medicated, over weight, severely suicidal and depressed; and what made things worse is I was in and out of psychiatric hospitals for most of my childhood. I had a lot of trouble in school, so it wasn’t until my early 20’s when I began understand how valuable reading is, especially for writers.

What is your daily writing routine?

It depends, it’s hard to have a time during the day where I’m able to have privacy, so normally I end up writing at midnight and I’m up until 3am.

What motivates you to write?

I guess the simplest way to put it is, I become motivated when my mind begins to turn against me. When I become self loathing and I start to think about how horrible the world is, especially the people on it, when I start to think about how untrustworthy family is, or how much of a mistake I feel I am; I have to write! I create a world I feel I can fit into or don’t exist in, I put some of my darkest thoughts on paper so that I can organize them, be aware of them, then let them go. I can put my words out there for other people to read, so that I know I’m not the only person that feels that way, and others don’t need to feel so alone either. Regardless of how misanthropic I feel most of the time, I do crave human connection.

What is your work ethic?

It varies, I try to finish one project at a time but it usually never turns out that way. I criticize and beat myself up over it pretty hard, but I end up working on multiple projects at a time anyway. Some stories, poems, and articles just sit for a while until I feel motivated to go back to them. I keep going and keep trying, but it’s agonizingly slow. I just have to keep reminding myself that I have to do the best I can, because that’s all anyone has. One thing I’ve learned from many writing groups, I’m not the only writer working on multiple projects and struggling to finish them! Remembering that helps me feel less down on myself.

How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?

Most of my influences came from musicians, it my teen years I looked up to strong female forces that I wanted to be, but never felt I was capable. A couple of my favorites were Otep and Emilie Autumn, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I found out they were writers as well, and I absolutely loved them!

Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?

I admire independent writers who struggle to be recognized for their art. I’ve been told on many occasions that nobody reads anymore and it’s very discouraging, but completely untrue. A lot of people are under educated, yes! I know this because, well…I’m one of them. However, under educated people read too. I’ve met them and if you were to talk to them, you would never actually know how under educated they were. What’s even more surprising is many of them are writers as well! Many of them are mentally ill, many of them struggle with comprehension and retaining information, many of them struggle in different areas of education that American public schooling isn’t willing to provide, but those people still try! I’m one of those people and I read, write and more importantly, I try.

Why do you write, as opposed to doing anything else?

I write because writing is the one thing that has kept me from being illiterate, if I never started writing, I would’ve never started reading. I do get the urge to do arts and crafts occasionally, but writing is the one thing that I’m the most talented at. Plus, as opposed to arts and crafts or playing music, it’s not as costly financially. Not to mention, you can learn so much from writing! If your going to write a historical fiction, you have to learn more about history. If your going to write sci-fi, learning a bit more about science may help you. Writing gives me an opportunity to learn about things that I wasn’t able to learn in school.

What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”

Read, write, and learn as much as possible! If you’re not writing, read. If you don’t know something, then research the topic. That’s really the best advice I can give an aspiring writer.

Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.

Well, my main project is getting decades of poetry published. I’m working on a few essays on the topic of mental health, I have a blog I’m trying to build on, I have some fanfics that I’m working on as well. I don’t care if people look down on fanfiction, personally I think it’s great writing practice!

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