Trying to please is like trying to paint your raft a colour that someone on shore you haven't met yet might like; it's your raft, and you don't know when you'll get to that shore or who you'll meet.
Tania Hershman appreciates the stimulus of unusual residencies. She began in a biochemistry lab, and then became a living writer-in-residence in Manchester's Southern cemetery, the second largest in Europe.
I both know how it works, and don't know how it works. The best metaphor I can come up with is mayonnaise; you put all the ingredients into the mixer, press the button.
For prose I need my fingers moving on a keyboard or a page; poetry tends to come to me out loud (I live alone fortunately). It comes to me through its sound and I write the first few drafts aloud.
I made a failed attempt to become a scientist but realised fairly quickly that writing was what I was suited to, and for me one of the most important pieces of writing advice is this: read. Read everything.
For the first forty-four years of my life I've always felt in some way or other, myself, wrong. Wrong inside this body. Wrong inside my head. Not a strong wrongness, but a slight vague feeling.