In an attempt to better know our readers each month, we thought it might be good to pick their brain a little. We’ll ask them questions about writing, life, and whatever else might come up. We begin our series with our featured fiction reader in February, Jenny Xie.
So without further ado, we present our first post in our new series, 5 Burning Questions.
- What’s the hardest thing about writing?
At the risk of sounding redundant, writing is hard because it’s laborious. It’s laborious to conjure a fog of ideas about a character, a place, a situation, and crush it under such immense pressure that it becomes a hard, crystalline, tangible thing.
- What are you doing when you’re not writing?
Teaching, exploring the city, doing yoga, annoying my cat.
- Describe your thoughts on writing (either your own or in general) in 5 words or less.
It’s like doing brain squats.
- What is it about your discipline (fiction/poverty/nonfiction/other) that draws you to it?
It constantly amazes. There’s something childlike and magical about surrendering to another person’s syntax, logic, wisdom, morality. At the same time you’re exploring this, you’re reacting and learning about yourself. Fiction—and all writing, really—is an essential bridge between self-knowledge and human empathy.
- Have you ever done something unusual for the sake of your writing? What was it and how did it work out?
I don’t know! I can’t remember. I did go to AWP last year in Minneapolis, which was a pretty strange experience. I felt like I was part of a thriving community, but as its weakest link. It was fun. I drank with my friends.
And a bonus question submitted by Anthony Moll at our last reading:
Would you rather have sausages for fingers or have your name be “Do you smell that”?
Have my name be “Do you smell that,” hands down. I could go by DYST; that’d be kind of cool.
To learn even more about Jenny, you can visit her online at http://pantherhooves.tumblr.com/
Or on Instagram: @jxie03 and Twitter: @msjennyxie