Please welcome Kelly Debie, writer, mom, superhero, today as she answers the questions from my Examining The Creative Mind series. She is also a photographer. Links to her work can be found at the end so make sure you check out her blog!
Can you tells us a little about who you are and the kind of work that you do? I’ve always loved writing. I kept a journal as a child and teenager, then stopped suddenly for all kinds of reasons. I wrote for school, but not for love, for many years, then not at all for far too long. About four and a half years ago, I decided to start writing a book. In the earliest stages, I started blogging as a commitment to myself to write something every single day. That book has fallen by the wayside, replaced with three others in various states of completion. The blog is going strong, and I’ve honored my promise to myself almost all the time, and I write almost every day. I’m also a photographer, and have connected my passion for that with my blog in the past few years, running photo challenges. This year has been a tremendous success and I’m absolutely humbled by the participation.
What genre do you prefer to write in and why? I much prefer non-fiction, as most of the topic I write about are those that have either affected me personally, or are ones that I feel I have enough expertise to speak on. I have been writing a fair amount of legal analysis of late, and run a weekly series where I vent about all the things wrong with the world, many of which are political issues. I do occasionally write fiction, but it is still far outside my comfort zone.
How would you describe your work in 3-4 words? Authentic, thought provoking.
Where do you do your writing? Can you describe your workspace?
I do almost all my writing on my couch with my laptop. I try to sit on the front porch when I get the chance because it’s a space that brings me peace and inspiration.
What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you practice? I’ve become quite a creature of habit when it comes to the blog posting. Tuesdays are for my weekly rants, Wednesdays I host other writers in a series devoted to helping new voices get out there and allow other established writers a different audience. In that series, some of the most amazing pieces have been those submitted anonymously. Fridays are for fiction when I have the time to write it. I tend to write in the morning because the afternoons are too chaotic around here. I have a running topic list for whenever I have trouble coming up with a subject, but that rarely happens. I have enough opinions to create blog fodder for years.
Are you influenced by any other creative mediums such as music, dance, art or film? Music is huge in my life, and I’ve written quite a bit on that topic. At some point this summer, I will get back into the Summer School of Rock, which started a few years ago when I decided to teach my kids about all different genres of music, starting with rock history. It morphed into this series, where I have featured 27 of the most history making bands so far. I hope to get back to it soon. I also plan to finish up the A to Z music challenge when I can get a free second to breathe. Music is the background of my life, quite literally.
Do you have a favorite writer? What is it about their work that draws you in? Gosh. I love Edgar Allen Poe, always have. He’s dark and disturbed, he’s lyrical and mysterious. He also happened to be my great, great, great uncle’s best friend. They were both writers, and I like to think I come by it honestly.
As a writer, is there anything specific you hope to accomplish? I would love to get some of those books I am sitting on published. I also know that for some of them, I’m still too close to really write about it properly, so I know I need more time.
As a writer, how do you define success? Success to me is simple – just making a connection with a reader.
What does being creative mean to you? I tend not to think of myself as very creative. Photography is my most creative outlet, and I tend to see that as me just capturing the beauty of the world through my unique lens. I’m framing it, not necessarily creating it. My portrait photography is some of my favorite work, but again, it’s the subjects making the beauty, I’m just capturing it.
Was there a moment where you realized creating was something you just had to do? Can you describe what that felt like? YES! I stopped writing for a while when I had some serious family troubles. I realized almost immediately that I needed to write to stay sane. I tried to stop, and I couldn’t. I found myself writing on everything I could find. The words need to get out.
How do you come up with ideas/topics to write about? A lot of what I write about is based in personal experiences, in things that happen to me or those close to me. I write about a lot of current events as well because I think it’s important for people to be educated about what is going on in the world.
What do you think is your biggest strength? I’m ridiculously analytical, almost to a fault.
What is your biggest weakness? Can my strength be my weakness too? Sometimes it is. I have a tendency to overthink things, make things more complicated than they need to be.
What do you hope to communicate through your writing? I hope that readers see me as an authentic voice in this world. I write what I know, what I see.
Do you approach your work within a framework of rules or moral code? Absolutely. Like I said above, I write what I know. I don’t try to pretend to have knowledge or expertise about things that I am not familiar with. Even the topics I feel confident with, I tend to research like mad before I post anything. Truth, honesty, integrity, all the highest goals of mine.
What is the most important idea, belief, or dilemma you hope to address through your work? Is there a theme at the core of the work you do? I would have to say that the thing I want the most is for people to think. I want to get them to see the other sides of issues. I want them to understand the challenges that others face. I want them to imagine a world where they might find themselves in positions they aren’t in currently. I want people to stop the immediate rush to judgment that so often comes and think critically about situations. I want people to be informed, I want people to do their own research. I think that most of us, at our core, are reasonable people, you just may need to strip away the bias of experience, of history, of what they have been taught to believe. So yeah, if people read what I write, and it makes them think, my work is done.