1. How do you stay motivated?
I think fear plays a large part in me staying motivated; fear of not having a voice, an identity, of being a cog, that and taking on topics that affect me emotionally, either in a disturbing way, or better, during those rare wondrous times of bliss.
2. Have you ever hated something you wrote?
All the time, and this includes work which has been published. I am very critical of myself. This is one of the reasons I let a manuscript "marinate" in a drawer for quite a while before either attempting revision or deciding to chuck it.
3. How do you come up with your titles?
Luckily, for the most part, the titles come to me, flowing either out of the process or being the impetus which gets the process going.
4. Are experiences you write about based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Both, but I think the one of the basic traits of a writer is empathy, so even if not writing directly from something which happened to me or someone I am closely related to in some way, than I am writing from the root of being in another shoes.
5. What book are you reading now?
I am actually re-reading the collected novels of Jean Rhys. It's great to return to works I haven't read in maybe a decade or more, and see if they still impact me as when first read while also exercising my memory which is pretty rusty!
6. What are your current projects?
I am currently working on an image/text hybrid, "Our Spirit Life", based on photos I inherited at two pivotal times in my life. After a couple of years and roughly 100 pages later, I believe I am nearing completion of the piece.
7. Can you share a little of your current work with us?
There are image excerpts online at : http://spaceslitmag.com/2013/07/13/photo-essay-stephen-mead/
8. What was the hardest part of writing your story/poem?
I think the hardest part is staying open to where the words want to lead me, or to how thoughts/images grapple to find the words.
9. Did you learn anything from writing your story/poem and what was it?
Yes, the poem took me on a journey which in the end lead to a place of validation and solace I was not expecting, and also a sense of connectedness with all who have rituals of some form.
10. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Take an inevitable rejection to decide how much of the work is really in need of revision or how much the one doing the rejecting might just be having a bad day!