The Creative Process Behind Writing – Kirsten Oliphant

This is the first article in my series on the creative process behind writing.

The plan is to ask writers a set of questions, which they will then answer in order to help other aspiring writers find their way within the writing world.

The first featured interview is one from Kirsten Oliphant. Kirsten is from the podcast Create if Writing. Go check it out! Create if writing is a podcast that helps provide writers with the practical tools to help you connect with an audience.
Kirsten Oliphant

I’d like to say thank, you so much Kirsten for agreeing to answer my questions and for being the first writer I feature in this interview series.

So I asked Kirsten 10 questions, here are her answers!

1. Where is your preferred place of writing?

If I could write in my dream location, it would be the cafe in Borders Books. Since Borders went out of business, I guess I would say any coffee place that doesn’t mind if I sit cross-legged and drink coffee for hours. I find the dull roar of noise in a crowded public space soothing. Often, though, I’m writing at home at night. I do better at my kitchen table, but like the couch sometimes as well.

2. Do you have any writing rituals?

One thing I’ve been trying to implement into writing and blogging life is this phrase: Pray First. I pray through my to-do list and then sit down to do it. This helps me focus and I think it really does help me get more done.

3. What inspires you?

I find inspiration to write EVERYWHERE. If only my time matched my inspiration, I would crank out books like nobody’s business. I like to read books and also read blog posts and listen to podcasts. Going to local book readings is also pretty amazing! I’m inspired by so many people, but one of my favorite writers is Amanda Eyre Ward. Her book How to Be Lost is one that I read every year at LEAST once. I also love to read Sarah Bessey’s blog because she has such a great command of tone and language.

4. Do you write post to post?

I am a weird organizer. I love to schedule things ahead, but some of my best posts are ones that happened in the moment because something happened that pushed me to write NOW. That passion carried over into the words and made for a great post. But there is something to be said for writing ahead of time and planning. I try to write in Evernote on my phone even when I’m somewhere like the gym so that I can have some posts on tap that just need editing and images. I would ideally love to schedule out three posts a week for months and then leave space for two to three posts that might come from what is happening in my life at the moment.

5. Do you have another job?

My other “job” is parenting full time. I also work on more than one blog, so I feel a little like I have three jobs, all of which I’m doing because I love them, not because I’m getting paid the big bucks.

6. If you could write yourself a letter. What would you write?

If I could write myself a letter, it would probably say “slow down and enjoy the moment.”

7. Why writing?

I have always been a writer and storyteller. Back in elementary school for show and tell, often I would choose tell and then stand in front of the class and make up a story. I wrote my first full novel in third grade. Yes, it was terrible. But it was a full novel with a beginning, middle, and end. I can’t NOT write.

8. How do you find time for writing?

I don’t find time; I MAKE it. Which generally means giving up things like sleep or other activities. I don’t have much time for things like TV and recently had to quit roller derby, one of my favorite activities, because my younger children’s preschool closed, so those two days a week I had longer stretches to write were simply GONE. I try not to work at all when my kids are up and even nap times are iffy because my kids don’t all sleep at the same time.

9. Do you journal in some form?

I have somewhere between 2-5 notebooks I write in at a time. One is for my devotions, so it will have prayers or thoughts on Bible verses. I also have a kind of everything notebook where I write to-do lists or thoughts or quotes or ideas. I use Evernote on my phone and then can transfer things easily to word or to WordPress on the computer, which is really handy!

10. How do you hold yourself accountable to write?

I don’t really hold myself accountable. I want to show up and so I do!


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