TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Carissa Owens — Creative Nonfiction Contributor

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As an extension of The Black Lion Journal’s mission, The Wire’s Dream is a semi-annual magazine that values community, life perspectives, and different worldviews. Contributors were asked to complete a set of mini interview questions with the purpose of sharing with the readers and their fellow submitters a bit about who they are and about their creativity. All questions were the same for each contributor; and each answer given is unique, open, friendly, and candid.

About The Creative Process

What does creativity mean to you? And what does it mean to be creative?
Creativity has always been about honesty to me- honesty and vulnerability. It is always about openness- especially being open and honest with myself. I think the best art is created by those that are able to be completely vulnerable with their audience.

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
I am most definitely a night owl (a product of never ending, late night reading sessions, I’m sure). I work the best between the hours of 11pm and 4am. In terms of making time for creativity, I have tried setting aside time every week to write or draw or paint but I always find that the creation feels forced. I prefer to create when inspired. Sometimes its just a sentence that gets stuck in my head and other times, I find myself writing for weeks on end. I like when ideas naturally take shape.

How much of your personal life and experiences shape who you are as a creative and as a person? Do you find that you draw much content from your experiences or have you worked to keep that separate from what you create?
I would say that most of my writing is influenced in some way by my experience. My voice has a tendency to seep into my fiction writing almost as much as my nonfiction. I like the ring of truth that personal experiences lend to writing. Great writing can be void of all personal experience but, it is difficult to write about something realistically and truthfully if you don’t fully understand the emotion behind it.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?
I think the most memorable creative moment for me was when I picked up canvas painting. Outside of writing, I have always had a hand in drawing and painting. However, oil painting on canvas use to frustrate me to no end- it still does for the most part. It was the fact that you can’t immediately fix a mistake. You have to let it sit and dry, all while staring at this one brush stroke that you absolutely hate. It has forced me to slow down in all my creative endeavors, to let things I don’t like stand for awhile. In general, oil painting has forced me to become a more patient creator.

Do you cross genres for inspiration? Which ones?
Ex: If you're a fiction writer, do you read and practice poetry? Do you also dabble in art?

I like to think that I do cross genres for inspiration. Specifically, I like to incorporate some poetic devices in to my prose. I just appreciate the depth of imagery poetry is know for as well as the ambiguity it allows to exist in prose.

What/who inspires you the most?
I owe my inspiration to the support of my family and teachers. I come from a long line of medical professionals and science lovers who may have questioned my dedication to literature. However, they never doubted me. My younger brother would be embarrassed for me to mention this, but he told his best friend his sister was a published writer and it was probably one of the cutest, most satisfy moments of my life- he is thirteen so any interest he shows in my life is exciting but this is a moment I will remember long to come.

Are there any contemporary writers/artists that you admire and think should be on everyone’s radar?
(Who do you think has been undervalued?)

Honestly, I think a lot of first time published authors are under appreciated. I feel like people have tendency to look for the big names in literary magazines and forget to stop and read some newer authors’ work. The big names are big for a reason but the newbies deserve the recognition too.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
Being someone who was just published for the first time, I would say my biggest tip is just to send things out and send them to a lot of places. You never know what reaction you will get from a piece until you do. The worst thing that can happen is the piece getting rejected. In reality, a rejection is just a chance to rework and revise your piece. Write, edit, submit, revise- do this over and over until you find the right fit for your work.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
Ultimately, the goal is to see a completed novel on a bookshelf- that has always been the dream. I would be awesome if it was popular and best-selling but, for now I will settle for seeing one of my works in print. Until then, hopefully a few more short stories will find their way into publications.

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Carissa

Carissa Owens is a Boston based writer currently attending Emmanuel College. Owens has a passion for beautiful prose and literature. While she is currently a server at the best BBQ joint in Boston, she hopes to focus more on her writing as she finishes out her college career. 

Insta: Carissa8897

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