When and why did you first start writing?
I started writing stories to entertain my family and teachers. But shortly after starting secondary school I realised that creative writing was also an escape route and that I could write for myself as much as anyone else.
Who is most supportive about your writing?
I’m lucky to have a really supportive family when it comes to my writing. My friends are also open to reading my work and offering feedback which I really appreciate since I know how busy they are!
Tell me something about your work published in Peeking Cat Anthology 2017.
“Soothsay” is mainly about perspective. It was written to express a common side effect of depression, the thought that life is somehow better for everyone else. The last line in particular reveals the truth behind this sentiment, that everyone thinks they are missing out on something, or that others are living life to the fullest when in fact, these insecurities are universal. The point of change comes when we acknowledge that nobody had the perfect life.
Where do you write? Do you have a writing space or a particular process/routine?
A lot of my poetry is written on public transport, it’s like being in a little bubble. I don’t particularly have a routine when it comes to larger bodies of work, it’s all about timing and the motivation to write. When I need a boost of inspiration I switch to my second-hand typewriter, there’s still a little magic left in those keys.
What’s your favourite word?
Mercurial, meaning changeable or erratic. It’s one of those words that works with each of my senses.
What do you find the most difficult or challenging about writing?
Building up enough momentum to meet my goals. Luckily this isn’t so much the case with poetry since it is more organic and can often be completed in one sitting.
Tell me about the piece of work that you are most proud of writing, or about the writing accomplishment you are most proud of.
I take pride in pretty much everything I write, but even though I’ve written a few substantial pieces, mostly for academic purposes, I’m most proud of my poetry. Having a way to express negative emotions so that others can see that they are not alone is really important to me.
What are your writing plans, goals or dreams for the future?
I’m happy just to get my work out there and see where it takes me. Ideally I’d love to see myself working in the publishing industry where I can immerse myself in literature, but I know I’m still a long way off.
Liz Mann is a young writer from Yorkshire. Find out more about her at inkonthebrain17.wordpress.com.