When Alisha Sommer’s name appears in my Inbox, I click it. Almost every time.
I click it because Alisha is my tribeswoman. She writes from that place that I try to stay connected to, even when I don’t understand it. She uses words to make sense of it all, and in doing so, she creates waves that reach women like me.
Through her word waves, Alisha remind me that writing can be about beautiful solitude, but can also be about cultivating sisterhood.
She’s participating in a dope idea called a Writing Process Blog Tour, and when I commented on her post, she asked me to respond to the same questions she posed. And so I shall…
1. What are you working on?
I decided to submit some work for a feminist anthology this year, so I’m deeply immersed in my whole poetry/protest/prose flow. I wrote a manifesto this year too, and I’ve already submitted it to my publisher, I still find myself writing poems that extend from pages within the book. I’m loving this because I haven’t written poetry in years, and suddenly, I’m back in that flow. Curious.
2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?
I call my work Spiritual Fiction because it’s comprised of stories that show up in my mind, but are heavily influenced by my obsession with self-expression, both in my own world and in the worlds of the women I find interesting. My work also tends to have a How-To component, which is almost never intentional.
3. Why do you write what you do?
I went and found my exact response to a prompt Alisha gave earlier this year because it is definitely my “writer’s why”.
I write in order to access myself, and to understand myself. I always have. When I write, my innate voice gets to quell the noise and speak to and through me. It’s so freakin’ dope to have this skill and this desire to use written word as my key to…all of it. Writing is freedom. No doubt, writing is more than what I do, it is how I do, and how I be.
4. What is your writing process?
My writing process, much like the other facets of my life, is unscripted and always new. I don’t have a ritual. I don’t have requirements, per se. I just try to stay present when the nudge to write comes along. I can be anywhere to write. I don’t need quiet, necessarily. I just write. And I try not to edit anything until after I get all of out of my head.
I will say though, that the “process” varies based on what I’m writing. If it’s a post for my blog, that’s usually pretty easy and I can just flow through the thoughts. If I’m doing something that requires more structure (like the posts I do on Everyday Feminism), I might wait until late at night when my daughters are asleep, because I need to consider format AND flow. If it’s a book I’m working on, I like to do that late at night too, mainly because I know I can sit there for 4 uninterrupted hours if need be. Outside of that, I just write when it comes, wherever I am, and whatever time of day it happens to be.