Susi Bocks is so inspirational to the poetry community. She works on her craft everyday, finding the unique and beautiful all around her. The poetry community is about challenging each other and pushing each other up to reach higher. That’s exactly what Susi does every week with her weekly Haiku Challenge on her blog, IWriteHer, as it’s her favorite poetry style. Thank you so much, Susi, for taking the time to do this interview and giving me some extra motivation I didn’t realize I needed.
How do you find the motivation to write something new every single day?
It feels like the urgency and the drive to write is always sitting right below my fingertips. Not sure if this relates back to when I first learned to type and fell in love with pounding the keys. Let’s hope it’s more because I think I have something to say. Haha! But couple that desire though with any number of catalysts which present themselves to me daily and there isn’t a day which goes by that I’m not writing. It could be about anything.
For instance, having profound thoughts about a piece written by another author which has impressed me, an evocative image, answering these questions, wanting to be engaged with a writing prompt/challenge, or me needing to be understood about something particularly relevant in that moment. I do have a need to be heard. And it probably stems from early childhood where my voice was frequently drowned out or dismissed by those who should have been listening. Add to that, I’m very driven to check off that box at the end of the day. So not writing would certainly leave me feeling like it wasn’t a productive day.
What did you learn after publishing Feeling Human that you implemented for Every day I Pause?
The biggest challenge with Feeling Human was that it was the first one! There was so much I did not know about self-publishing and had to learn which helped me tremendously with the second. Formatting Every Day I Pause was still an arduous task considering the number of pages this one contained but it was made much simpler by knowing the basics. It also took much less time pulling it together because I was better organized better. I think knowing how to set things up and understanding the preparation required to publish another book made it so much easier. So the next book will hopefully be a piece of cake!
What’s your favorite style of poetry?
2018 was the year for me to discover and learn many forms of poetry, and it was the reason I posted once a day. I felt it would help me understand more about poetry itself but also help me find what was actually most preferable. After I was pulling together all the poetry for Every Day I Pause, I discovered that roughly thirteen percent of the poems written were in the style of Haiku. This showed me, like with most things in my life, I’m attracted to brevity. I recently posted about it called Concise Thoughts https://iwriteher.com/2019/01/
It’s a wonderful feeling when I think I can say so much in only three lines. And I love reading another writer’s work when it can so quickly and easily take my breath away. That level of quality is impressive.
What made you decide to publish your work?
I think it goes back to that feeling of wanting to be heard. Once I realized I was committed to writing, it just came natural to me that the next step would be making my thoughts known publicly, whether on the blogs I’ve had over the years or in book form. Feeling Human ended up being a very different book than I had imagined my first one would be. Back in 2014 or 2015, I had wanted to write about my dysfunctional family primarily because both my parents had died. Three months into it I had to put it aside because it was just way too depressing.
Then I made the best decision ever, took a trip to see my best friend on the East Coast. While I was there, the idea to collaborate with her was born. See she is an incredible artist and her work added so much value to the book; there was no way I could do this without her. Every chapter was prefaced with her beautiful interpretation of the emotion I was trying to express through my writing and poetry. It was an honor to publish this initial book with her, plus she gave me the courage to see it through. Now, that I’ve done both books, I just feel spurned on to do more of the same.
Please tell us how you got from “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up to being a published author of two books – one predominantly poetry – in your mid-50s.
Never in a million years did I think I would be writing poetry but here I am! It really feels like home. A place to understand myself better and find creativity within that I didn’t know I possessed. And it’s such a positive place to be when for most of my life, I’ve felt like I was surrounded by negativity. It’s odd but wonderful to feel satisfied and validated but that is what writing ultimately did for me. Sometimes, I wish I had come to that conclusion sooner but maybe I wouldn’t have appreciated it as much as I do now.
What do you feel are the characteristics about yourself that you are most proud of?
Dependability, honesty, strong sense of justice – and I hope that comes through in my writing as well.
What pivotal moment did you realize that you wanted to write?
In November 2010 I attended a convention. There were so many young, talented people in their 20s and 30s surrounding me and I had to ask myself “here I am at 48 and what am I doing?” I took about a month to really evaluate what it was that gave me joy and satisfaction. The common thread of everything that I loved – reading, lyrics of music, what I adored in school (book reports – oral and written, literature), what I enjoyed at home (reading, debating, talking) – was words.
I loved words and I especially had a desire to be heard using those lovely words I knew so well. I started my first blog – Susi’s Soap Box, and this is where it all began to fall into place for me. It eventually evolved into a more serene place called PhiloSusi. This is where I started dabbling in writing poetry. Then came the first book – Feeling Human, and my blog – IWriteHer, and recently Every Day I Pause.
Get in touch with Susi and Her Books: