A mom, a PR writer, an editor, a blogger--and you still find time to submit and publish poetry. Are you a writer on the go?--the jot down idea when it comes type? Or do you have a specific time set aside for writing?
I’m not sure I even have time for this interview. I’ve learned the hard way not to put off an idea, because I will forget it. A lot of my work is on cocktail napkins and bill envelopes. As you’d expect, it gets a little chaotic.
I’m trying to be more disciplined. Sometimes “having” to write makes me feel a bit constipated. Submitting has a way of making me feel accountable. If I don’t have anything to send out, then that’s a problem I’ve got to attend to.
What has the time you've spent writing taught you?
That the more I experience the process, the less I understand it. I really feel as much conduit as creator. I don’t mean I’ve got dental fillings that receive cosmic messages. It’s just a unique mental mix of organization, impulse and hard-headedness.
Who has influenced and/or shaped your writing?
My favorite professor took me to task for everything I put on paper and forced me to articulate thoughts I didn’t believe could be articulated. My dad insisted on precision in speaking (and that’s probably why I write instead). They both instilled a deeply mechanical appreciation of language. Then there are too many outrageously good writers to name that keep me reaching.
Who is your ideal reader?
One who doesn’t have to parse out every detail of what I wrote, who doesn’t get bogged down in the why of it all--someone who brings their own experience, who can play with it and make it dance in a way I couldn’t have even imagined.
How long have you been editing Orion headless? I think leaving readers the option to respond to works published is a good editorial move--it definitely promotes dialogue among readers and writers.
Orion headless started in April 2010. It just had a birthday!
It’s different from putting a bound journal into someone’s hands, never knowing after if it affected them somehow. I don’t get a huge amount of comments yet, but there are so many journals out there with so much awesome writing to consume. I fully understand the literary chew and screw. But with time, maybe there will be more of a community around Orion headless. Who knows? I know I’ve been overwhelmed by most of what I’ve been able to publish so far.
Sara Fitzpatrick Comito is a poet living in Fort Myers, Florida. Her work has appeared in places like nthposition, Leveler, Right Hand Pointing and Hip Mama. She edits the online journal Orion headless.