Sean J. Mahoney–Interview

Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?

I work primarily at home. That said though I always have a pen and some sort of scratch paper with me so that I can make notes or jot ideas down cuz let’s face it – none of us have any control over when an idea knocks or makes itself known. And I at least wouldn’t leave such delicate matters to memory alone. Memory is a flawed and temperamental beast at best. Why else do you suppose the phrase ‘If memory serves…” is so commonplace.

What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?

Funny. I’ve been reading a lot about Kenneth Patchen lately in researching a piece I’m working on for His picture poems! I would enjoy…I think…incorporating more construction paper and paint and calligraphy. But until that actually happens I type or write by hand using a Uni-ball Roller Micro 0.5mm in black.

What is your routine for writing?

I think perhaps that the majority of us who aspire to be full-time making-a-living-by-writing writers, the only routine is consistency. That is, trying to carve out some time each day to write, to make things up and commit them to paper. And coffee. So wait. I didn’t answer the question. I don’t have a routine. I write when I can, or when I can’t sleep, which happens occasionally.

How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?

Probably 8 or 9 years old. That’s the earliest I can remember making up stories for school assignments; about being a cheetah, about being invisible. Then there was nothing until after high school. That’s when I began journaling. And I was doing that every day. But I didn’t begin sending stuff out until about five years ago. Like right after being diagnosed with MS. Shit gets real after that.

Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?

In terms of poetry? Anyone who will listen? At least for now. Big people are notoriously finicky when it comes to their Lit diets.  I’ve written some stuff for my niece and nephew, and I have an itchy inclination to maybe point those stories towards the YA markets, but they’re not quite ready for that just yet.

What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?

Things that actually happen. Real world events. Some of the stuff going on politically right now is so ridiculous and outrageous that if you actually read it in a book you may throw up a little bit in your mouth. Yet each day the news cycle churns out the chum and the actual real good things that are indeed happening get cast aside because they’re not considered crazy enough. That’s disappointing.

What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?

Oh I like movies. And food. SoCal is a foodie paradise. God I used to love playing basketball but I don’t really run that well anymore. I like to garden, to grow things. Tomatoes especially. And kale and hot peppers and pomegranates.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

Hmmm – hitting send when a piece is completed. Getting it to its editor or respective site.

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

Don’t be afraid of rejection. All writers have experienced rejection. Don’t fear the reaper. Don’t look back. Don’t fall on me. Don’t let’s start. Don’t stop believin’.

Don’t you forget about me.

You know I bet there’s a song in there somewhere.


Check out Sean’s work in Volume 4, Issue 1.


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