MK McWilliams is a soulful writer that simply wants to earn a living with her writing. I guess, that’s all any of us ever wants, to earn an income doing something that we love. It’s quite the difficult task but luckily MK is not giving up any time soon – which is wonderful news for us as we now have the opportunity to be exposed to her writing on a much larger scale – especially once her new book Stereospace comes out! For more information on when Stereospace will be released and other updates on MK I suggest you follow her on Instagram @mkmcwilliams .
RMMW: Do you have any artist rituals before starting a new piece?
MKM: I am usually inspired randomly, at least in terms of poetry, so I don't have time for rituals, I need to get the ideas down as quickly as possible. When I work on fiction, I like to think about the main characters and setting and make information sheets to refer to and inspire the action. I usually do this before writing any actual prose.
MKM: Yes, I find myself creatively blocked quite often. What gets me through is my general outlook on writing. Some days, the words flow freely and naturally. Some days it works so well, and I feel this is something I'm meant to be doing, a calling, if you will. And then other days, I can't bring myself to write a single word. So, I take the good with the bad, and realize that whatever is happening right now, may be completely different tomorrow. I try to ride those highs, write as much as possible when I'm inspired. I think it's important to always write. There are those who say if you want to be a writer, you need to force yourself to write everyday. There is certainly some truth to that, you absolutely need to do the work. But I also think giving your mind a break sometimes is what is necessary.
RMMW: Who is your favourite indie poet to read?
MKM: I have so many! I read poetry everyday, sometimes all day long, so I am constantly trying to find new people to read. I can't list everyone here, but I will say, I just read Elise Emersyn's book "Drowning Back to Life" and it slayed me. The trauma and resurrection of it was so raw and relatable.
RMMW: Does writing energize or exhaust you?
MKM: Definitely both. When I am inspired and, on a roll, I feel pumped and excited. It's almost as if nothing can stop me for that sweet (often too short) amount of time. But when I pause or finish for the day, I feel depleted. It takes a lot of emotional and intellectual energy to write all the time and I often feel my brain is fried after a long writing session.
RMMW: What is the first book that made you cry?
MKM: Probably, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. It was that first childhood lesson of unconditional love and the lack of appreciation from the other side of things.
RMMW: What is your writing kryptonite?
MKM: I hate that I procrastinate, but I do. So, any distraction is kryptonite. I don't have a TV near my workspace anymore and it's for good reason.
RMMW: Do you think someone could be a writer if they do not feel emotions strongly?
MKM: I think anyone can be a writer if they try hard enough and just do the work. But being a writer who connects with people, who tells stories that reach people? I think you need to feel emotions in order to accomplish that. You need to know how to bring out emotions from your readers, and you can't do that if you don't feel them very much yourself.
RMMW: If you could tell your younger writing self anything what would it be?
MKM: Don't stop. Don't worry about traditional success, don't listen to everyone else saying that you need to find a well-paying job. Write and keep writing and you will be so happy that everything else will fall into place. But you need to do the work!
RMMW: How did publishing your first book change your writing process, if at all?
MKM: I went about this in perhaps a non-traditional way in that it was not planned out. I actually started with another theme for the book altogether, and what came about to change it happened so naturally. So, I don't know if my process changed much because it's how I often work. But I think definitely, in terms of writing to a theme, collecting pieces to fit to the theme is new for me and I really enjoyed it. It's a single piece of art with many parts and I love that.
RMMW: What does literary success look like to you?
MKM: At the base level, literary success for me is writing (almost) everyday and enjoying the work. My dream is to make some kind of living off of it. To be able to say that writing full time is my day job will truly make my professional life complete. But if that never happens, I am content doing this anyway, writing out my feelings, creating pieces out of simple ideas. It truly brings me joy, so I could never complain.
RMMW: Do you view writing as a spiritual practice?
MKM: It absolutely can be. For me, it's not always. But when my passion for it comes through and I am letting the words flow and not even needing to think about it, that feels a bit like I'm on another plane. Perhaps "spiritual" is the perfect word to describe it.
RMMW: How many hours a day do you write?
MKM: This definitely just depends on the day! Some days I write nothing, some I write for an hour or two, and then there are those magical days where I write from morning to night.
RMMW: If you had a superpower what would it be?
MKM: I think if I were to choose one, it would be telekinesis as I think it's the most versatile. But if it were based on my actual personality, I would probably have the power of invisibility. I like observing people and the world around me.