Interview | Women | Writing
The World is Your Oyster
A published author shares her thoughts
A screenwriter, photographer, and recently published author, Arianna Kaminski spent the better part of her high school years recovering from a concussion. During the time she was housebound due to her injury, she poured her heart out on paper. The outcome of that is her book of poems, Earthly Thoughts, which was published last year and is available for purchase on Amazon. I’m sharing her thoughts on being a writer in the hope that we can extract the wisdom behind what she went through and apply it to our own lives.
Interview with Arianna Kaminski
Tell us a little about what you’ve written.
Arianna Kaminski: I wrote a poem book over the course of 5 years. While I recovered from a concussion, I needed to find a way to express my emotions. So, I started to write. The book chronicles the many emotions I felt on my recovery journey, some happy and some sad. Through the book, I link my emotions to nature. I look at nature for inspiration because it is resilient, beautiful and calm. The book shows my love and connection with nature, and my journey from pain to finding my passion.
What is one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
Arianna Kaminski: Through creating my book, I learned a lot. I read books by many well-known authors that inspired me to keep going, even when I felt like I should stop writing. One of the most important things that I learned was to persevere. A great story is not created in one sitting, it is created through consistent renovation and endurance. Eventually, the true story appears and it is clear that all the hard work was worth it.
What did you edit out of your book?
Arianna Kaminski: I am very honest throughout the book. The only poems I edited out were ones that did not fit with the others. Some poems I edited for months and still could not get “right”, so I decided to take them out of the book. However, the book is around 150 pages long, so there are still a lot of poems to read!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Arianna Kaminski: There was never a day I specifically thought, “I want to be a writer”. I have always been a writer. I started writing when I was in 2nd grade. I came home from school and wrote stories in my notebook. As I got older and busier, I started to write less because I did not have much free time. But, my concussion drew me back to writing and I have been writing consistently ever since.
How long did it take you to write your book?
Arianna Kaminski: Earthly Thoughts is a collection of poems that I wrote in the span of 5 years. It took me roughly a year to compile the poems and format them correctly for a book, but I have enjoyed the entire process. I love being creative and revising my poems is something I find fun. It is really helpful to listen to music while I edit because it can help me feel the emotions I felt when I originally wrote the poems.
Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Arianna Kaminski: I think that anyone can be a writer. There are different styles of writing and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages, its own pros and cons. Pick up a pen, pencil, laptop, or typewriter and begin a story, and now you are a writer. I am not a fan of titles and labels. To be a writer, you do not need to be a bestselling author, most writers do not write for a living, they just write because they love it. However, that does not make them any less of a writer than bestselling authors. I think anyone can be a writer if they have a desire to be one.
Why did you want to be a writer?
Arianna Kaminski: I like writing because it allows me to be creative and not have any boundaries. In life, there are rules that have to be followed. But, when I write, I feel free. I also feel compelled to write because if I have a story in my mind and I do not write it, then who will? If I do not write a story, it might never get written. This is also why I enjoy screenwriting (writing the script for films). I love telling stories and I am so excited to finally share my stories with other people.
Does a big ego help or hurt a writer?
Arianna Kaminski: I have always doubted myself, so it took a lot for me to write this book of poems. Although I think having confidence is very helpful, especially in the writing process, being hesitant has pushed me even further to try my best. My shyness has encouraged me to keep editing until I am happy and to not settle on a mediocre poem. I want my writing to provide value to others and not just consist of me talking about myself.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
Arianna Kaminski: There is definitely a thing called writer’s block. I experience it, especially when I write screenplays. But there is an easy fix for writer’s block: keep writing. Write anything that pops into your head, work through the problem instead of using writer’s block as an excuse to stop writing.
Which authors did you dislike at first but grew into?
Arianna Kaminski: The Great Gatsby is very popular and I read it in high school. I hated the book. My teacher forced opinions onto the students and I got frustrated, so I took it out on the book. However, I reread the book this year and I loved it. Books are meant to be interpreted by the reader. That is the beauty of telling stories: the story can mean something different to everyone. But when someone tells you why you are meant to like a book, that ruins the fun of reading. Everyone has different life experiences; therefore, everyone will interpret a book slightly differently. That is why writing is an art form. That is why I love it so much.
What does literary success look like to you?
Arianna Kaminski: For me, I will be successful just for publishing my book. There are so many writers who keep stories in their heads and do not write them down. There are also many abandoned stories and poems that sit on a computer or a notebook never to be shared with anyone. Therefore, just publishing my writing will be a success.
Arianna Kaminski’s experience has an important lesson for aspiring authors: Don’t wait for the right moment to write your story. If you have a story to tell, the world is your oyster. What story do you want to tell the world?