Valeri Beers, author of ‘Alchemy’ answers our questions:
Q1. What inspires your creativity?
I am really inspired to write when I listen to music (I am currently listening to Florence and The Machine, “No Light, No Light”). I have also found inspiration when I read for pleasure. If a phrase stands out to me, I will write it down in my journal. I am inspired to write when I want to remember a person, place or experience.
Q2. What conditions do you like to write in? Standing on your head, sitting on the bus, eaves dropping at a party…
If something demands to be written, I write anytime. I believe there is no “perfect time” or you might never write. I have scribbled poem scraps while waiting for school to get out, on the back of paper placemats at diners, I even took my journal to a bar one night while going out with a group of friends. (I definitely got some strange looks THAT night!). If I had to pick a “perfect time” I like to write at night after my 7 year old has gone to bed. I will transcribe the poem/writing scraps into my journal.
Q3. Are there any writers that you most strive to be like and why?
I wish I could write like Nicholson Baker (the minutia of everyday life). I don’t feel I strive to be like any other writer, because then I might not be writing in my own voice. I have tried to write like other writers I like and became discouraged when it fizzled out.
Q4. What is your favourite book and why?
Nicholson Baker and Erica Jong have written my favourite books.
Q5. Do you have any tips about the writing process?
Write something every day! Even if it’s just about the weather changing. (I keep a notebook of poetry prompts). You can only get better! It’s normal to get discouraged (it feels crappy though). Also, read read read! Read anything and everything that interests you. And keep your senses open to your environment around you! You never know when inspiration may make its demands.