On this episode of A Day in the Life we meet Angela Jackson Brown, a fiction writer who also enjoys writing poetry and plays. If you’d like to be featured email me, my address is below.
When did you graduate?
What genre do you write?
That is such a difficult question to answer. It varies. I graduated with an emphasis in Fiction, but I also spend equal amounts of time writing and publishing poetry and plays.
Where do you live?
What are your favorite books?
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, The Color Purple by Alice Walker Kindred by Octavia Butler, Roots by Alex Haley, Beloved and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, The Sound and the Fury & As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin, Passing by Nella Larsen, Our Nig by Harriet Wilson (First African American novelist to publish a book) & the list goes on and on and on!
Do you hold a full-time job other than writing?
What do you do?
I teach in the English Department at Ball State University, Muncie, IN
What part of writing do you like the most?
Revision. Revision is where the magic happens.
Do you work with an outline or just wing it?
When I first started writing, I was led by the muse. NOW I outline and I tell the muse where we are going.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
No, because I always have several projects going on at one time so I always seem to have something to write about.
Do you listen to music while writing- if so, what kind?
I listen to the music that my characters in my writing project would be listening to. Sometimes it’s gospel. Sometimes it’s rap. Sometimes jazz, the blues or heavy metal. I allow their preferences to guide me.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I watch way too much Netflix.
Can you tell us about an upcoming project?
I am rewriting a novel and I am working on three plays AND I am about to edit my poetry collection that debuts the end of this year with Negative Capability Press.
What does your daily schedule look like?
What time did you wake up?
What did you work on?
Whatever project has the most pressing deadline. Right now, it is the rewrite of my novel Shoot Across the Sky
Did you finish what you set out to?
If not, what got in the way?
Nothing (But if something gets in the way, it is normally me.)
What were you wearing? (don’t mean to be creepy but is there something you need to wear to write, or you never think about what you wear if you work from home…)
Sweat clothes or PJs. I never want my clothing to get in my way. I want to be comfortable and relaxed.
Did you exercise?
No, but when it is time to write, I write. When it is time to exercise, I exercise. Or at least I try to. I will exercise later today.
Did you read?
Yes. I try to start my day by reading something that will inspire me. Today, I read poetry by Allison Joseph, My Father’s Kite
How did you procrastinate?
I try not to use that negative term. Sometimes, I truly have nothing to say and I refuse to feel guilty for that. Most days, I write or read or research so, I like to think I never procrastinate; instead, every day is preparation for the day when I sit down and write.
What advice would you give someone looking for a more productive routine?
Don’t beat up on yourself. Write when you have something to say BUT do everything that you can do to make sure you have something to write about. Create an outline. Do your research. Read other writers. Make your writing spaces sacred. Stop allowing the methods of others be the thing that discourages you. If someone can get up EVERY DAY and write, great for them. But maybe that isn’t your thing, and that is okay. Spalding’s own Katy Yocom gave me the BEST writing advice ever. She said, make your goal this (if you want to write every day) – every day I will write one sentence. Instead of saying I’m going to write 500 words or 2000 words per day, instead set a goal that is totally attainable. So, if writing every day is important to you, set a goal you know you can reach so then, you won’t feel guilty. Even if you are having a bad day, one sentence is usually doable. I, on the other hand, use deadlines as my goals. I prioritize based on when things need to be completed, then if I decide to take off a few days or a week or even a month, I don’t feel guilty.
I’m looking for contributors for the following posts:
DEAR SOARING!: Send me your questions to be featured on the blog. Other alumni will help in answering your questions.
Where in the World: Where have you gone recently? Send me a picture with information on your trip and any writing you may have done about the trip.
Awards and Accolades of Alumni: Time to brag! What have you accomplished recently? I want to help spread the word and show just how great our alumni really are.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured.
Mackenzie Jervis is a Summer 2016 Graduate. She lives in Texas with her husband, two cats, and puppy. She has way too many books, more cameras than she knows how to properly use, and a never ending need to keep moving. She write about her life and adventures at home and around the world at A Wandering Scribbler.