Interview | Michael Chin: Fiction Contributor, Pushcart Nominee
As an extension of The Black Lion Journal’s mission, The Wire’s Dream is a semi-annual magazine that values community, life perspectives, and different worldviews. Contributors were asked to complete a set of mini interview questions with the purpose of sharing with the readers and their fellow submitters a bit about who they are and about their creativity. All questions were the same for each contributor; and each answer given is unique, open, friendly, and candid.
Let’s start by talking about creativity — what does creativity mean to you?
Creativity is largely rooted in individuality–seeing the world through your own unique lens and aiming to capture world as you see it.
How and when did you get started doing what you love to do? Who or what is your creative muse?
I started writing as a child. While I draw inspiration from a lot of sources, memories from my youth, and particularly my hometown where I haven’t lived for about fifteen years have become a muse of sorts.
What is your most memorable creative experience, if any?
I recall visiting a museum once and having the spark of a story cue up in my mind as I was watching street performers on the steps outside. I could barely focus on anything in the museum itself afterward, as I was so consumed with writing down all of my ideas before I forgot them.
People approach creativity in such different ways! What about you? What is your creative routine? Do you know of any quirky habits or creative superstitions?
I make every effort to write–or at least take down notes related to my writing–a little bit every day to keep the creative pipeline flowing. This often includes emailing myself notes during relatively mundane times like when I’m in line at a grocery store or while I’m brushing my teeth.
Time, Tips, & Future Goals
How do you make time to do what you love to do?
I try to make use of every little scrap of time I can. It was a blessing in disguise that I started working pretty time consuming jobs right out of college, and could rarely take a whole hour or more to write. So, I got used to doing what I could with just a half hour, or fifteen minutes of time. Just a little work done repeatedly can add up quickly.
What tips can you give novice creatives about getting started on their creative journey and about submitting their work for publication?
To me, both the hardest and most rewarding parts of a creative process are actually doing it, so I advise making creative endeavors you value a part of your routine as much as possible. As for submitting, I take a similar tack, especially when the rest of my life is busy, of trying to send things out on a regular basis. It’s daunting to try to get out ten submissions in a single sitting, but seeking out one or two venues to submit to and sending something to them, two or three times a week? Try skipping TV or getting up a half hour early a couple times a week, and you might be surprised at how reasonable that is to do.
What do you hope to achieve with your creativity? Where would you like to see yourself in about 5 years, professionally and creatively?
Years back, I got some of my best advice about writing, which was not try to compete with anyone else or plan too much, but rather to sing my own song the best I knew how. Five years from now, if I’m still doing that, then that’s all I can really ask for.
TWD MAGAZINE 3RD COLLECTION
Michael Chin was born and raised in Utica, New York and his hybrid chapbook, The Leo Burke Finish, is available now from Gimmick Press. He won Bayou Magazine’s Jim Knudsen Editor’s Prize for fiction and has work published or forthcoming in journals including The Normal School, Passages North, and Hobart. He works as a contributing editor for Moss. Find him online at miketchin.com or follow him on Twitter @miketchin.
Read Michael’s Fiction In TWD Magazine 3rd Collection
“Chords” — p. 93