Olivia, the creator of Knit the Moon, is a twenty year old, English and Creative Writing student at SSU. She’s a writer, reader, knitter, ukulele player, Danish learner, gym-goer, space enthusiast, and vegetarian. You can find her blog here.
Hi Olivia, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
Well, I’m 20, I originate from the jolly north of England, and I spend my life doing things with words.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer and blogger?
Writing was one of the first things I ever wanted to do. I actually wanted to be a jockey first, but then I realised that I don’t actually like horses, and that sort of crushed my dreams a little bit so I had to move on.
What were your ambitions when you started your blog?
My blog is actually more of an outlet for me, and something that keeps me writing regularly, even if it’s about something really small. I’ve had blogs before but I wrote about stuff I wasn’t passionate about so I never kept it up.
Have those ambitions changed over the process?
They have since I started my first blog when I was in college, yeah. When I started my first blog, I won’t lie, I was sort of hoping people would send me free stuff. Now I write purely because I like it.
What kind of posts are you writing at the moment? Could you give us a little insight?
I will literally write about anything, but I write a fair amount about anxiety, depression, and life in general. That’s not very cheery, I know, but like I said, it’s an outlet. It’s actually really nice getting feedback from people telling me that they’re glad they’re not alone, and I’ve had a couple of messages saying they’ve found my blog helpful, so that’s really nice.
Are there any quotes or mottos that inspire your writing career or your life? Would you share it with us?
“My life story is the story of everyone I’ve ever met” – Jonathan Safran Foer. It’s actually at the top of my blog’s homepage. It’s not exactly inspiration, but just a reminder that everybody shapes your life in some way, whether it’s good or bad, and that’s okay. So it’s okay to write about those things and accept that everybody has influenced me in some way.
Do you also write fiction? If so where do you find inspiration for your novels?
I do, but probably not as often as I should. I used to write a lot of fiction and poetry, and I absolutely love doing it, but I seem to have slowed down with fiction lately. My inspiration usually comes from my dreams, because I have some pretty crazy dreams and nightmares that are really fun to write about and try to make some sense out of.
Do you consider yourself more of a plotter or a pantser? Do you outline thoroughly or see how it plays out?
I go with the flow. I set myself a basic idea and just go with it. I don’t like planning every tiny detail, it takes the joy out of writing for me.
How often do you write during a week?
That depends. I don’t have set writing times or anything but I try to do something every day, or every other day at the least.
Do you have a set word count that you try to achieve each session?
Not at all. I don’t like putting that kind of pressure on myself. Some days I’ll be able to write thousands of words, and other days I might only crack out 200. That’s probably not the right way to go about it, but that’s the way I do things.
Do you have to do lots of research for your novels or blog posts?
Generally, no. At the moment I write what I know, but I do have plans for a couple of things that are going to take a lot of researching.
What is the hardest thing about writing for you?
It varies, depending on what I’m writing and when. Sometimes my head just gets all mangled and I have to take a step back and have a breather to make sure things are making sense, especially if I’ve been writing for a long time.
Do you ever get writers block? How do you overcome it?
I write my feelings down. Get all my overwhelming thoughts out of my head, clear things up, and have another go.
What books are you reading at the moment? Do you have any favourites?
I’ve been reading Great Expectations for what feels like forever, because I just can’t get into it, and I’m always so tired at the moment. A couple of my favourite books are Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer and Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.
If you couldn’t be a writer for a living, what other career do you think you would like to do?
I would absolutely love to be an astronomer or something like that. I love space.
What was your inspiration for starting the blog? Why did you want to start one?
I just felt like I had a lot of ideas building up in my head and I needed to spill them out onto something. And a blog was born.
What sort of a routine do you have around your writing? Do you make coffee every time? Or write stream of consciousness before starting a story?
I don’t really have a routine. I always tend to clear all the notifications on my phone first so I don’t get tempted by any distractions, but that’s about it.
Do you have any advice to the aspiring writers reading this?
Just start. Just write. It doesn’t matter if it’s bad, at least you’re doing it.