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Being a Writer

November is not only a reminder to give thanks, but it’s also #NationalBlogPostMonth & we celebrate #NationalAuthorsDay. I’ve never been a huge fan of November, but I think I have a new reason to start!

My life runner & I did a Q&A on the subject of being a writer, & I encourage any other writer out there to answer some of these questions, too! Let’s see how well we align with each other!

1. Inspiration usually plays a role in all things creative, what inspires you when writing?

This is a tough question. Truthfully, I think it depends on what I'm trying to write about. In general, I'm inspired by words & the way they go together to complete things. That sounds confusing, huh? aha. What I mean is, there are so many words that exist, & they all have meaning. I find it beautiful how they work with one another to form sentences, phrases, paragraphs, pages, then completed works. I also look to my favorite authors, Harper Lee, Toni Morrison, & Stephen King for guidance when writing. Not only are they well known authors, but I believe they have a deep understanding of words, too. I love that. I'm inspired by feelings, too. I classify "good writing" by the way it makes me feel...whether it's good or bad, if it sparks a feeling, I'm drawn in. I want to ignite feelings in people with my words, too.

2. Do you take from real life experiences and put them on paper? If so, how do you incorporate these experiences into your writing?

I think that all writers draw from personal experiences sometimes. It may not be the exact event, play by play, that I write of, but it could be pieces, some feelings that I remembered, things like that that I'll put into a scene.

3. Controversial topics can be a touchy, would you ever consider writing about something controversial? If so, how would you handle the responses from your audience, positive or negative?

I'm not opposed to writing about controversial topics. I think society has a hard time remembering that EVERYONE has an opinion & that they're entitled to said opinion. So, for me, because I believe I'm a very opinionated person, but equally as open to listening & hearing other's thoughts, I speak about things I'm passionate about or have opinions on knowing that I may have people who don't agree with me. & that's okay! Not everyone is going to agree with me, not everyone is going to respect my opinions or thoughts. Like I said, I respect the thoughts of others, even if I don't agree. What I've realized is that close-minded people are the ones who refuse to listen to others. They don't want to hear it. & for me, those are the ones who I find most detrimental to society. How can we better others if we don't even want to listen?

4. Relationships can be hard to manage without additional stresses in one’s life. How do you prioritize being a writer and managing relationships with family and friends?

Is it bad that I've never really thought of this question? Aha. Truthfully, I'm a juggler--I've always been good at having a lot on my plate & getting it done. I find balance. I'm one of those people who believe that time is made for things that are important. I am suuuuuch a relationship-oriented person--family, friends, romantic--I care about them tremendously. I make the time to write, & I make the time to be with those I care about & love. It makes it easier when they understand my work-ethic & my career goals, too.

5. Do you feel being a writer can change or inspire someone else? What is your goal with the content that you put into the world? How do you expect your writing to influence others?

Oh, absolutely. Words hold so much power. Whether they're being read, heard, spoken...they're all so important. My 'goal' is to make people feel. It's to make them think, it's to remind them that we're all different, but the same. I want people to know that I understand, even if we haven't walked the same path. I want them to know that they're never alone in whatever it is that they're facing. So, in short, I guess my 'goal' with writing is to remind people that literature is not dead & that words matter. I don't expect anything from my writing, truly. I'd love to be an influence on another writer's career or just serve as a positive light.

6. What if being an author does not work out? Do you have a plan B?

What if's have killed every dreamer's dreams. No "what if's" in my career. I am an author. I'm on my way to being a well-known & remembered author. Denzel Washington once said that if you have a Plan B it's because you don't believe in your plan A enough. I believe in me & this career. It's going to work out. It already is.

7. Your newly released book Chapter 23 just hit the shelves. What is the feedback you have been receiving from your audience?

I'm really blessed. It's been nothing but positive feedback & great energy!

8. What are your hopes for Chapter 23, how do you want it to affect your audience? What message do you want it to convey?

I wrote "Chapter 23" because I wanted people to know of my thoughts, feelings, & wants for a new year of life. Mostly, I just wanted it to be relatable. I want people to flip to any one of the 365 poems & say, "Yeah, I've been there," or "Yeah, I totally get that." I want them to feel, aha. That's just me in a nutshell. I want people to feel all the things.

9. Are the poems in your new book categorized in an intentional way? Or are they meant to be in a randomized order?

In 'Chapter 23' there's no set organization. Each poem is written & appears how they appeared to me. I felt that keeping it that way kept the authenticity of my writing & thoughts. We, as human beings, don't think my opinion, anyway. So, I wanted it to be an unconscious wavelength of thoughts & feelings for the readers, too. In my next poetry collection, there's more structor & organization.

10. Who is your Dream audience?

I don't think I have one. Is that weird? I just want to reach as many people as possible. I don't categorize myself as a young-adult author or a poet. I don't want to put myself into just one box. So, my writing will be broad & reach multiple audiences.

11. What would you consider to be your final goal?

When I can make writing my full time career & it's literally my life, I think I've reached 95% of my goal. As of right now, I don't have an end goal. I just want to write forever...aha it's cheesy, probably. But, I know I've reached my goal when my heart tells me I have. But, until then...I'll have the pen in my hand.

I am so thankful for the gift of writing. I hope that everyone finds something that sets their soul on fire the way writing does for me.

May your day be ever filled with love, light, and of course, an abundance of chicken tenders💜🌻✨

Cheyenne Pajardo

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