Interviewing the Writer – Roslynn
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Roslynn and I live in Seattle with my partner. An interesting fact about me is that for every year I’ve lived (all 30 of them) I have lived in a different place. The most unusual of these was a sailboat on a trailer next to a horse pasture.
When did you first begin writing?
I remember writing a short story in 6th grade. My teacher Mrs. Fredlund returned it to me with glowing comments. That really encouraged me. Madeleine L’Engle was my favorite author at that time for her imagination, clarity, and heart. I felt I learned something new about myself every time I read her books. Her example showed me the power of stories and of the written word.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Not until very recently. I’m a professional coach so I spend most of my time talking with people, listening to them deeply, asking questions to promote clarity and inspire action, and designing strategies with them for making their ambitions come to life. For the past couple of years I’ve been getting feedback from the Universe. Colleagues comment on my e-mails and other random written stuff with, “I love the way you write!” and “You’re such a good writer!” My dad even told me he thought I’d missed my calling as a writer. I didn’t give it all much thought until last October my coach challenged me to begin blogging. That’s when I started calling myself a writer. I guess that exposes my unconscious definition of writer, “one who turns their heart into words and gives them away.”
What is your favorite genre for writing?
Non-fiction for sure. I get lost when writing fiction and usually end up with the sense that I’m stuck in a mousewheel of cliches. Prose is a type of poetry I get a lot of satisfaction and insight from. I’d like to try writing commentary. For now my focus is on getting better in writing non-fiction that begins a conversation in the reader’s mind with the material. I’d like to find the bridge in writing between theory and experience. That place where someone stumbles onto an insight or new perspective and it sparks something new in their life.
What inspires you to write?
The crisis of joy in our world inspires me to write. By this I mean that grown ups throughout the modern world resist the joy hovering just beyond the periphery of their controlled, safe, predictable lives. It takes a great amount of energy to keep this joy at bay. Just watch how children let it flow in and out of their day. Have you ever seen a joyful child huffing under the effort to make it till 5pm? Well, that’s rhetorical, but you get the point. Grown ups have tremendous responsibility. Unfortunately we have interpreted this responsibility to be external: love the world. In truth our tremendous responsibility begins within: love thyself. It’s exhausting to try and love the world. Especially when we think, act, and feel in ways unloving to ourselves. When we fail, which we are bound to do, we interpret this as further justification for our self-unlovingness. Our punishment: no joy until you’ve eaten all the guilt on your plate. Where does this all lead us? Straight to the brink of disconnection from ourselves and others and at its worst to hopelessness.
Do you read as much as you write?
Roughly. I find that reading helps me to write and writing helps me to appreciate what I read.
What book are you reading now?
I’m 7 pages from the end of Wicked.
Is writing a career for you? If not – can you see it as one?
I think of career as livelihood. Currently I do not make money from writing. Yet writing allows me to show people what I do as a coach. So writing assists me in my career.
Where can readers find your work online?
What is the most enjoyable aspect of writing for you?
The feeling that what I write about originates somewhere in me but ends up with a life all its own. The act of creating is what I enjoy most.
Are you connected to an online writing community?
I love Sonia Simone at http://www.remarkable-communication.com/. Check out her blog for real-life, real-useful tips and perspectives on writing.
Some random questions her
Rainbow, of course!
What is your favorite thing to have for breakfast?
Rice, miso soup, and a boiled egg.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself?
Either of my parents.
What super power would you like to have? Why?
Navigation. On our way to summer camping trips my dad tasked me with knowing where we were at all times on the map. It wasn’t always obvious as we took the back roads all around the Olympic Peninsula. I learned to note landmarks, signs, distances, and to read maps.
What do you do to relax?
Cook, clean, the usual. No really, I find that any right-brained activities help me to relax. Here are a few: cooking, cleaning, walking, dancing, singing, stretching. But I’m of practical Scandinavian-Irish stock and tend to like to feed two birds with one cookie. Hence cooking and cleaning are right up there with walking to do the errands within 2 miles of home.