Interview: Jennifer Brown Banks
I have an affinity for poets, I must say. I believe poetry makes the world a better place. Our interview with Jennifer Brown Banks will definitely inspire you!
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how long have you been writing?
I’m a veteran freelance writer, relationship columnist, editor and award-winning poet. I’m from the “windy city”, and have been penning pieces professionally since 1991—”recreationally” since my teen years.
What types of writing do you do?
I love to dabble in different genres—essays, columns, poetry, and articles for the most part.
What’s the best thing about writing?
That’s a good question…I think for me it’s making a difference from what I do, fulfilling my “divine purpose”, and the autonomy of it.
Share some of your writing goals.
I have several. I’m determined to get into the Chicken Soup Series, (even if I have to pay somebody!) : -) I also have 2 books that I am committed to publishing—one on relationships and one “how-to” book for writers. And last but not least, I want to transition to “full-time” status by 2010.
Is there a specific time of day you like to write?
Not really–it’s whenever my muse calls!
What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?
That’s hard to pinpoint; I’ve read so many.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I don’t remember it ever being a “conscious” choice. I write because I can’t not write! (pardon the double negative). It was also something that my mom “guilted” me into upon reading some of my works as a teen, and recognizing my potential as a writer.
Book you’re currently reading.
The Bible, Satan, I’m Taking Back My Health, Don’t Worry Make Money, (and whatever time permits). I usually read several at a time.
Any type of writing ritual you have?
A cup of herbal tea is usually a must, and sometimes music in the background.
Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, how did you get past it? If not, why not?
I don’t really believe in it, though I do acknowledge that there are “slow periods”.
But, if a person is REALLY a writer, there are more ideas than time can realistically accommodate. It’s helpful to read a lot, be a keen observer, and have a natural curiosity about life. The ideas will come–they just have to be captured and creatively molded.
What’s the measure of a successful writer?
A successful writer is serious about the craft, recognizes that writing is a “business”, and seeks to make a difference through words. A serious writer is professional in words and actions as well.
Advice for other writers?
Don’t let your ego get in the way of your excellence. Know what you do well and deliver! Persevere through the hard times, and have a “plan B” always.
Where can we learn more about you?
Anything else you’d like to add?
For those interested, I teach column writing at www.coffeehouseforwriters.com.
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