Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?
I prefer to work in large, modern, public spaces when there’s no one else around. There’s something about social emptiness in a place that’s supposed to be filled with people that helps me open up. I also don’t have any nice furniture in my apartment.
What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?
I’ve always been typing. Being able to immortalize words at the speed that they enter my head allows me to bring larger amounts of creative freedom from my headspace into writing.
What is your routine for writing?
I’d probably be a technically better writer if I had a routine.
How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?
I started writing four years ago in my senior year of high school, where of course, something happened. Now my writing has broadened and deepened to other topics, but the underlying theme in all my work started growing right at that moment, and for better, or for worse (or for nothing at all), it’s never stopped.
Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?
I think the best part of communication (artistic and otherwise) is that I can make something completely personal for a specific person, and somehow it can still affect others, sometimes in ways I didn’t intend. While I’m aware that my actual audience is larger than my intended audience, that never factors into the way that I write. I write my best when I’m speaking to that person.
What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?
A lot of the silly, little things that are easy to take for granted: grocery stores, small patches of sunshine, or the paint that peels off the walls of a community tennis court. To me, it’s very easy to find love, hate, and their variations in these small things. Also, Ariana Grande and Hilary Hahn are wonderful musicians that can help spark my process.
Ever since I started writing, I don’t remember ever feeling blocked. I have someone that gives me endless inspiration, so even if I’m not writing about them directly, thinking about them gives me the emotional charge to produce words and send them out of my fingertips. It’s hard to get blocked up when you’re holding back an ocean at the very end of spring.
Writing is never effortless for me, but it helps that I always aim to say what I want to say, even if I have to mask it.
What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?
I’m a scientist first, a musician second, and a writer third. However, second really is the best. I play viola, which has been a large part of my life. Classical music lets me keep close people who are important to me.
What is your favorite part of the creative process?
Choosing the right title. The title is the story in its most concise form, and discovering a great abbreviation is really satisfying.
What is your advice to aspiring writers?
That all writers are aspiring writers.
Check out Vivi’s work in Volume 3, Issue 2.