Do you remember the article that I posted last month, with regards to teaching children proper drinking habits in order to prevent alcoholism or addiction? If you do, then you are familiar with my next interviewee Ian Cahill. Ian is very much into incorporating lessons within his blog articles, not in a pushy way – more in a food for thought concerned human being way. There are things as human beings that we should be constantly thinking about but, for some reason life gets busy and most of that gets thrown out the window. I thought the article regarding teaching children positive alcohol habits was required. When a child watches their parents there are so many questions in their spongy little knowledge seeking brains. And in my opinion, as a parent one must provide our children with the information required to make intelligent choices as adults. If you take a look at https://medium.com/@iancahill you’ll see many of Ian’s articles are steeped in human awareness, which fosters prosperity. We are not perfect beings however, with constant exploration and growth when the metamorphosis takes over it can illuminate a path. Especially if the message is coming from an altruistic being like Ian. For more information please check out Ian’s LinkTree https://linktr.ee/iancahill and do follow on Instagram @iancahill.
RMMW: Have you ever been creatively blocked? If yes, how did you overcome it?
IC: This happens all the time! Life gets in the way of writing a lot and sometimes, when I finally do get a chance to sit down and write, nothing comes out. I try to not let it get me down. Any words are better than nothing, so even when I am not feeling the story or the drive to write, if I open the document, I try to at least write a single sentence. Then I can at least say I've pushed the story forward. Sometimes, that leads to an hour of solid writing, sometimes it leads to another sentence I wrote. I can live with that.
RMMW: We all must contend with an inner critic, how do deal with yours?
IC: My inner critic isn't so bad. I think there is a time in every story where you doubt yourself and your abilities, but I've found that if you keep going, at some point you will have an epiphany and everything will fall into place, including your love for the story.
RMMW: Do you have any artist rituals before starting a new piece?
IC: I never start anything new fiction-wise until I give the protagonist a name and identity. Without that, what reason does that person have for doing anything interesting. I also won't start anything new unless I know I have a good solid few hours to devote to the beginning. This includes a quiet place to write with no distractions.
RMMW: What do you prefer writing, articles or poetry? And why?
IC: I think I am more suited for essays and articles, but I sure do get a lot of gratification from both my fiction and my flash poetry. All of it stems from a feeling, desire, opinion, so I like to think no matter what I am writing, a little of me shines through.
RMMW: What's the strangest subject you've ever written about?
IC: Prompts can be a whirlwind of crazy. I've used prompts to dabble in everything from romance to sci-fi. But the few horror pieces I have written have always been weird to me.
RMMW: I know it's like selecting your favourite children but have to ask. What piece written by you is your standout poem or article?
IC: Right now, I am pretty happy with a short story that I wrote and recently published on Medium. It is called, A Boat With Two Names (https://medium.com/bigger-picture/a-boat-with-two-names-53028d5fdfa5). It's about a lonely guy who stumbles upon a device that makes people fall in love with him. I'm considering making it into a novel.
RMMW: How many unfinished manuscripts do you currently have?
IC: Depends how you define unfinished! I have now three books that I have written THE END to, but aren't currently published. And I just crossed 50k on National Novel Writing Month 2019, so that WIP is currently still moving. I suspect I will write the ending to that before the new year.
RMMW: What do you feel is the greatest challenge of contemporary poets?
IC: Coming across as genuine. It's hard to stand out from the crowd, especially when writing about love or heartache. So much goes into form and cadence. A lot more than people think. If you are true to yourself and try to look at things in different ways, you should be able to stand out. There are a lot of mediocre love poems out there.
RMMW: What do you want readers to take way from your work?
IC: A sense that they could belong in the story. I try to make my characters relatable enough that you feel like you could hang out with them or go on an adventure with them. Without that, what's the point of reading in the first place?
RMMW: Being a parent can sometimes be very time consuming as children's schedules NEVER stop for anyone -- I have 3 so I totally comprehend that. How do you find time for yourself to write?
IC: During November, I tend to crave out more time than I normally do, but generally it helps to have a supportive spouse. I take one night a week to sneak away and write at a coffee shop. Otherwise I am a night owl. The kids are in bed by 8:30 or 9 at night and that gives me one or two hours to stay up and get something down. If I am really into a piece, I will work on it over lunch or get up super early on the weekends and work until the kids wake up. It's not easy and can leave you feeling exhausted, but its worth it in the end.
RMMW: What is the greatest lesson you've learned as a writer?
IC: You don't have to be the best there ever was. Every writer has an audience, you just need to write and write and spend your time finding it. Some of us have larger audiences than others and that's ok.
RMMW: If you had a piece of advice for your younger self with regards to your older self now -- what would you say?
IC: Write that novel sooner! I didn't think I could write a novel for the longest time. If I just would have spent more time learning how to do it, who knows where I'd be. There are so many resources out there now, there really isn't any excuse not to do it, if you are serious about it.
RMMW: If you had a superpower what would it be?
IC: I always used to answer this question with invisibility. But as I get older and come into myself more, I think I would be better served with the ability to win people over. Sometimes it is easy to be overlooked, and sometimes I already feel invisible. If people craved me more, than I really think I would be forced to make some changes in my life.