November 16, 2009

iScribe Interview Series - A-Poet at 3 AM

Name: Mercer Smith
Major(s): English
Year of Graduation: 2010
Position: Featured writer (Fall 2009)

When did you first start writing? Which creative genre held you interest first? Which do you find most compelling today and why?

I first started writing, really writing, when I was in the 8th grade. It was first based upon a prompt that my 8th grade professor had given me to write about "What I was made of." Most people in the class took the essayistic approach to attempt to write exactly, and literally what they were made of. I, on the other hand, decided to write a poem. From that day on the poetic genre has held my interest most strongly. Recently, however, I have begun to branch out into Creative Essayistic Non-Fiction, and I have been finding that amusing, and fascinating to write. I do believe that both poetry and essays have aspects that are intermingling which is what made my progress from one to the other (and vice versa) so easy.

How did you decide to become involved with The Independent Scribe?
I decided to become involved in The Independent Scribe because most of the students in my majors whose opinions I valued most were involved. I was interested in furthering my own experience as a writer as well as being able to see what kind of writing the students of URI were capable of.

Tell us a bit about your invention and revision processes. What details are you willing to share about the process of writing?
I am definitely more of a "swooper" when it comes to writing. I have to wait until an idea is right upon me. For example, my iPhone is filled with notes about poems or stories, or even great lines that I came up with. Most of the margins of my journals have small scribbles of words or lines that I find inspiring. Poetry and writing to me are not something that I can sit down and intentionally write, because when I try to do that the lines come out overwrought and exhausted. As for revision, that is something that I usually wait a few days and then go back to, or shoot the piece of writing over to someone who hasn't read it before. I find the best way to revise something is to look at it with completely clear eyes. There is no way that I will be able to fix something if first I haven't cleared my head of what I was writing about to start with.

What is your favorite aspect of publication, whether that be being published or working on a journal?
I enjoy both aspects honestly. I love the pride that comes with being published, but I also enjoy the pride that we see in other people that we are publishing as well as our own pride at putting out a great publication.

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