Ah, readers! Today we have one of Twitter’s most wonderful chat hosts to tell us how she manages to get All The Things done, but first an introduction —
Tamara Woods was raised (fairly happily) in West Virginia, where she began writing poetry at the age of 12. She published her first poetry collection, The Shaping of an “Angry” Black Woman in 2014 and is working on her first fiction novel, Blood Roses and Honeysuckles, debuting in early 2018. She likes red pandas, coffee with too much creamer, and singing in the grocery aisles. She’s a full-time freelance writer, blogger, and vlogger. She invites you to join the #writestuff chat she hosts on Tuesdays at 9pm EST.
PK: Whew. You might be the most intimidating guest I’ve had on the blog. Your list of goals and achievements is long, woman! Let’s recap: host of chat, host of FB group, author, blogger, vlogger, poet, & editor. How on earth do you find time to do it all? Do you sleep?
TW: Hmm, I guess when you put it that way, it is a lot. Yet, I never feel like I’m doing enough. I’m one of those people who isn’t happy unless I’m doing something, and I especially like to start new projects. I make daily to-do lists, weekly goal lists, goals for each quarter of the year, and I have accountability buddies to help keep me on track (see FB page). I also don’t sleep a lot because insomnia is an unwanted house guest who refuses to take the hint and leave.
PK: You mention in the About Me page on your blog that you were the weird kid who’d greet the newest, lonely kid at school. How has this shaped your writing and your goals?
TW: During the #writestuff chat, I start by asking people to say hi so I’m not alone. I love building community and to help others as I shuffle along. I just want people to achieve their goals. It’s one of the most gratifying things I think a person can do — decide they want to do something and then get there.
PK: What does your inner voice tell you when you’re creating? Is it kind? Is it cruel? How do you turn those messages into fuel?
TW: My inner voice can be a witch with a ‘b’. During my current revisions, I had to take a huge break because my inner voice was being too loud, and I couldn’t drown it out. I started another novel instead. Giving myself that break allowed my subconscious to work out the problems, and now I can attack it. Sometimes, I have to listen to my inner voice even when it’s awful. Other times, it’s my best cheerleader, but then I listen to it with some skepticism.
PK: What is your next big project and what scares you about it?
TW: I’m releasing Blood Roses and Honeysuckles soon. The official date is January 29th. It’s my first full-length, fiction novel, and it scares the hell out of me. I have put so many pieces of myself up for public scrutiny, but this feels different. This is the true path I want for my career. Having it available for people to read and see…it’s really unnerving. I’m trying to be okay with it, though.
PK: Thanks so much for doing this, Tamara. You rock!
TW: Thanks for asking me to do this. It’s humbling you thought of me.
If you want to stay informed about Tamara’s work, you can sign up for her newsletter!