Susan Orion on Writing
Cushy began as a place I carved out for myself to write. Looking for something to help motivate and discipline me, I sought out an outlet that I would enjoy working with and found myself online. Happily, Cushy is beginning to grow beyond that initial space as I sought, and seek, out community.
It is within that bigger and broader creative community of writers, artists, and creatives that I introduce Susan Orion. Susan is a writer, published author, and professor, and I reached out to see if she'd speak toward writing and her writing process for this week's theme:
When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Or was it something that just sort of happened organically?
"I always loved reading and writing. Any opportunity to write at school was a gift. In eighth grade I won a prestigious writing award and had my story reviewed by Canadian author Sylvia McNickol. It was amazing. Since then, I have been writing under different names, anything from drama to poetry to screenplays and novels. Along the way, I snagged a few more awards which fueled my passion, knowing that people actually like my work."
What is your writing process like?
"A lot of writing on post it notes, phone reminders, emails. I used to obsess over every thought that entered my mind but that became overwhelming. I’d wake up to find sheets of paper everywhere with ideas that were just horrible. I realized that what sounds brilliant at 2am doesn’t seem so sharp by daylight So now I just have to filter before writing. Then I organize my ideas to see what fits the story I want to tell and what doesn’t. But I save everything because later I can use the “does not fit” pile for something different but still awesome.
How do you combat writer’s block?
"I rarely have writer’s block because I don’t write full-time. I am a PhD Candidate and university instructor by day, so if I come home with ideas, I will write them. otherwise, I just eat, read, and sleep :P (my other hobbies)."
How did you find your ‘voice’ as a writer?
"It was hard. Growing up, you emulate what you have read. You write to please your teacher and classmates. Then you realize that this “writing to please” business is taxing on your soul and doesn’t last. So I started writing unfiltered, just being unapologetically me. In the editing process is where I start to really consider things like tone and audience, But finding my voice for me really meant accepting who I am and allowing myself just to be me, in my writing and in my life."
What influences, inspires, or motivates you?
"My husband and my son. Hubby encourages me daily. He told me the day he met he loved my writing. I had published an essay on chocolate 10 years ago and he has been encouraging me ever since. My son inspires me because he loves my stories, so I always have something in the works for him. In fact, I am working on an incredible sci-fi series based on all the wild and crazy adventures we go on and imagine. I think having these lovely people in my life is truly the muse I always needed. I am so thankful for them."
Be sure to tune in on Monday, February 6th for my book review of Orion's Detention Land - a YA psychological thriller featuring Roger, imaginative teen genius stuck in detention forever.
About the Author: Susan Orion, author of of Detention Land and Really Weird Dads, is a creative writer and a teacher. She especially loves a good laugh at an awful teacher or a bratty student. And she also does not hesitate to laugh at herself too! All of her books are written straight from the heart, aimed at bringing her readers a fun and engaging book that they can relate to and share with others.