By way of offering explanation or insight, since I’m often asked, I shall oblige!
I approach all genres in the same fashion—committing to recurrent acts of imagination, which present as a threshold into the realm of how I come to say what I say. I don’t begin with a map. Instead there’s often a word theoretically attaching itself to what I presume is my auditory cortex, much like a song does when I can’t get a melody out of my head. It’s a start.
The sounds and meanings of each word reprise themselves, while calling forth images and circumstances. And then writing starts to accumulate, like retrieving stones from the river one after another, until there's a kind of foundational weight for considering an emotional truth.
The actual truth matters very little to me when I’m writing. Fiction is often the most appropriate scaffolding for my ideas. And then details of my experience attach themselves to the made thing—I tend to find those like rummaging through old boxes for what feels equivalent to the circumstance of the particular piece.
Image is also often imperative as a sustaining force for a project. Ultimately, I see something being built or unearthed, and I begin to further consider the bridge between abstract concepts and architecture on the page. If I can’t find clarifying objects in my mind’s eye, then I usually can’t sustain a project.
This process of using abstraction to formulate concrete ideas is appealing to me for its roominess—it allows for exploration of multiple pathways and vantage points, without my mind clamping down on itself in judgement and premature editing of the broader ideas or contexts, which may become attracted to the piece.
And thoughts about audience—I care about the folks who take the time to read or hear my work. However, unless I’m being asked to write for an occasion or event, I don’t consider what might be pleasing or of value to an audience, or I wouldn’t feel free enough to write anything. When I’m invited to read publicly, I’m honored, and I do try to tailor the selections to the theme, occasion, and/or venue, or perhaps to what I’m able to know about the presumed audience—but I still do as I please to a certain extent—my own form of anarchy/resistance, I guess.
I make what I make. My subject matter has no preconceived limitations. Nothing is off limits if it holds my attention. I think it’s tremendous if anyone appreciates what I do. I also think it’s completely human and expected for people not to have a taste for or approve of some of my work. I write because I’m compelled. I’m still learning what I don’t know how to do yet. I hope I always will be learning.