Terrie Leigh Relf: What are your daily writing and creative rituals? How do you prepare your space for these activities?
Kathryn Phillips: Since my writing happens when it happens, I don’t exactly have a daily ritual. I’m not the type that can sit down and dish out words every day. Since my writing happens that way, I’m always prepared with a small sketchbook, a notebook, and a pencil kit full of pencils, erasers, lead, and artist pens.
TLR: Do you have a “day job” in addition to being a writer and artist? If so, what (if any) challenges do you face? How do you rise to those challenges?
KP: I’m nearing the end of my art education degree, and so I’m in my senior internship right now. Every day I’m in the classroom, and I have a 35+ minute commute there and back. I’m usually exhausted by the time I get home. To meet those challenges, I try to find some time during my internship to jot down ideas. The joy of an hour-and-a-half break!
TLR: Describe a recent writing and/or creative session in detail. How long was it? What activities did you perform? What did you accomplish, and so forth?
KP: It’s been a very long time since I sat down and dished out word after word with no pain. Even then, I don’t think the session went over an hour. Unfortunately, I’m too distracted where I live. Even though I have my own office at my apartment, that doesn’t stop my boyfriend coming in to talk because he’s bored, and that doesn’t stop my cat from getting in my face, and it doesn’t stop my gerbils from bashing their wheel against their glass cage to make noise. Essentially, I live in an environment where no one understands DO NOT POKE THE WORKING DRAGON!
However, my most successful, for now, would have to be the completion of my first novel. That thing took ten years to finish and I was determined. I was able to power through five pages to make my final chapter (I try to make each chapter at least five pages in Word) with no issue and hit my goal of 300K words. I almost threw my laptop across the room in satisfaction and scared my boyfriend and his friend with my screech of happiness.
TLR: What tips do you have for other writers and artists? This could be anything from a time-management strategy to an inspirational quote.
KP: Keep at it. Even if you don’t write every day, it’s okay. Small bits here and there help. Even small side stories can help with ideas for bigger projects down the line. Keep writing supplies on-hand at all times. Even by your bedside. You have no idea what state of mind you will be in when you have your next big break.
TLR: Is there anything else about your creative process that you would like to share? Please do so here!
KP: I have the bad habit as an artist of making characters that have no purpose. Always and forever give your characters a purpose! Create a plot and see how your characters will do in that world. How will they all react to certain things? Also, find access to a dry erase board if you can, and make a bunch of plot webs and outlines. Those things work wonders.
TLR: Thank you for being part of this ongoing interview series, Kathryn. I look forward to hearing more of what you’re doing. Please be sure to read her bio below – and Lifebringer!
Kathryn Phillips is an author and an artist, currently finishing up her BA in Art Education. When not busy with schoolwork, she can be found brainstorming at home or with friends for her next artwork or her writing. She is currently working on two writing projects, The Hellhound Chronicles and Sinful Darkness. She has self-published one novel for the Sinful Darkness series, Lifebringer, which was started when she was fourteen-years-old. She resides in Orlando, Florida, with her boyfriend, her cat, and her two gerbils.