As someone who has been writing for as long as I can possibly remember, I loved Andrea Beca’s experience of making a book (complete with binding and illustration) in elementary school. Funny how those early experiences mean so very much to us writers! Let’s remember that and encourage every young person we possibly can.
I know you’ll enjoy the rest of this interview with Andrea Beca.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how long have you been writing?
I’m from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada – I’ve been writing since I learned how to write. One of the first moments I remember that really got me going was having the opportunity to write, illustrate, and bind a book in elementary school. It felt amazing to hold my own book in my hands; I wanted more!
What types of writing do you do?
I write in most genres, but my passion is playwriting. At the moment, I am splitting most of my time between playwriting, short fiction, and freelance non-fiction.
What’s the best thing about writing?
I think that writing allows you to explore so many different aspects of the world, people, and or yourself. I find it liberating, exciting, and eye-opening.
Share some of your writing goals.
I would love to eventually have a collection of short fiction published. I think it’s a very ignored genre right now, but some of the most powerful fiction I’ve ever read has been short fiction, and not novel-length works.
Is there a specific time of day you like to write?
I am a nighthawk, 100% – I am most creative and productive between about 7pm and 3am.
What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?
How could I ever pick one?! One of the first to come to mind is The Trick Is to Keep Breathing: A Novel by Janice Galloway.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I don’t remember the exact moment, really. I had always had an interest and a talent for writing; it was always my strongest subject at school. Getting involved in the world of theatre certainly pushed me along as well. When I saw words from the page coming to life on the stage, I knew I wanted to do that.
Oscar Wilde, Neil Jordan, Janice Galloway, Enda Walsh, Martin McDonagh, Daniel MacIvor… (I could go on forever!)
Book you’re currently reading.
Riding with Rilke: Reflections on Motorcycles and Books by Ted Bishop – it’s brilliant so far.
Any type of writing ritual you have?
I need white noise when I write, but I’m very picky about the type of white noise it can be. It needs to be familiar to me – like a favourite TV show or movie – even though I pay very little attention to it. If I can’t do that, I like to listen to music that either has no words, or is in another language.
Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, how did you get past it? If not, why not?
Not really, no. I think that writers write – it’s what they do, so if you have writer’s block, it’s probably because you’re not writing regularly. That said, I believe in hitting a wall with a particular work – that usually just requires a breather, or some exploration of the piece outside of the piece, if that makes sense.
What’s the measure of a successful writer?
If you reach your own personal goals and aspirations, I think you’ve been successful. Success should never be measured by what others think of you.
Advice for other writers?
Write, write, write, and don’t be afraid of rejection. Get your work out into the world! Just because one place says no doesn’t mean you don’t have talent. Also, find a friend or two whose opinions you trust and share your work. Feedback is important. Writing can be a lonely thing – don’t isolate yourself entirely (or for too long, anyway).
Where can we learn more about you?