12.20.2010

Guiding Questions

1. Why do you write? When did you begin? How do you begin?

2. Where does your writing come from? In what ways is it connected to
others? Are you writing for/in response to someone else? (Perhaps
someone who couldn’t write for herself/himself…?)

3. What does it mean to “write like a woman”?

4. Do women writers write the body in a particular way? How does the
body, particularly a woman’s body, with its specific cycles
(menstruation, puberty, pregnancy, birth, menopause, aging) inform your
writing, process & product?

5. How aware are you of your voice as a woman? In what ways do you try
to/feel you have to overcompensate for being a woman (the "feminine")
in your work? In what ways do you exploit/make use of this?

6. What are the particulars of your writing process? How do you take a
piece from initial impulse/spark/genesis to “completion”? How do you
keep your work new? How do you keep challenging yourself? Is writing a
secular process for you? A spiritual one?

7. Is writing activism? Is art enough? Do you feel a sense of your own
particular cultural/historical moment as you work? When you work, do
you have a sense of social obligation or is it important for you to
work free of this?

8. What feeds you & what impedes you?

9. “I have read essays on when women stood up. Triumphed. And why… I
want to hear when they stayed seated & shut down & scared. I think I
need a human naming of their fears & faults.”

10. What are your roots, language, culture? How do they inform your
work? How important is nomadic movement to our writing? How important
it belonging?

11. What do you do for work? How do you earn your living and how does
this impact your writing life & process, if at all?

12. How do you respond to the claim that women’s work has been
relegated to the realms of the personal (domestic, confessional, the
body) in contrast to the epic, transcendental themes of work by men? Do
you find yourself embracing, responding to, or resisting this in your
own writing?