Here lies a spontaneous Facebook Chat interview of one Jessi Haish (Musings – http://www.jhaish.blogspot.com)
(No FB employees were harmed in the making of this interview. We think.)
Scroll at your own risk.
Mandy: Do you love reading?
Jessi: Absolutely! If only I had the time, I’d do a lot more of it.
Mandy: I feel you. How old were you when you realized for the first time, “Hey, I like books!” And do you remember which one it was that hooked you?
Jessi: I’m not sure which book it was, but my mom read out loud to me from the very beginning, and I think that’s why I love it so much and appreciate books so much. Her favorite book to read was “Where the Wild Things Are.”
Mandy: What?!? That was my favorite when I was a kid, too! …Okay, fangirl moment over. Sorry.
Jessi: Haha that’s awesome!! No problem.
Mandy: Did reading naturally lead to writing for you? Or was it some other inspiration? A school project? An encouraging teacher? A book ending you hated and had to rewrite?
Jessi: Hmm. I’m not really sure when I had that “moment,” but I started writing in journals in early elementary school. A lot of “Dear Diary” stuff. I knew that I enjoyed that, and it always made me feel good (writing in it at the end of the day in bed and then stuffing it between the mattresses) so I thought I’d branch out. In middle school I won a couple of awards and kept going with it. In high school I took a creative writing class for kicks and realized poetry came fairly easy for me. From there, I joined the school newspaper because I needed another class and it sounded “cool.” And bam, here I am!
Mandy: Friggin’ awesome! Do you feel like writing is necessary to your basic well-being? Could you separate yourself from it if needed?
Jessi: I honestly can’t see myself doing it. I feel like the more I do it, the more attached I get. Calling it therapeutic doesn’t nearly do it enough justice. Even if I’m just scribbling phrases in the margins of my class notes, I can’t see myself cutting it out now that I’ve found it and realized what I can do for it and what it can do for me.
Mandy: Wow. That sounds like a blog post right there. Do you have any favorite authors that you could label as inspiration?
Jessi: Haha, I hate to be predictable and admit this, but I have an obscene addiction to Nicholas Sparks. I know it’s cheesy, I know it’s predictable, but I love it. He definitely has a way with words and description – in journalism I cut to the chase and it’s kinda “vanilla.” I appreciate anyone who can write a great story. Other than that, I don’t really have favorite authors, but my two favorite books are “The Outsiders” and “The Bell Jar.”
Mandy: Dude, you’re so honest. It’s insane.
Jessi: Haha, I get that a lot.
Mandy: Okay, where do you draw your inspiration from then? From what I’ve read of yours it seems like people and experiences inspire you. Is that true? Or is there more to it?
Jessi: Honestly, I think that it’s solely people and experiences. Even though I’m young and that’s all I really have to work with, isn’t that all that anyone has, no matter how old they are? Life is the easiest thing to write about because you’ve got plenty of material, but at the same time you have to be able to let that material happen, and not be afraid to talk about it. I think that life is the only completely honest, interesting thing you can read or write about. I’m not exactly a fan of science fiction or fantasy, haha.
Mandy: Ah! My heart! Somewhere, Tolkien rolled over.
Jessi: Haha, I can’t say I’ve read any Tolkien.
Mandy: Gaaaahhhhhhhhhhh… That was my nerd half dying a little. Okay, life. Good answer. Have you ever struggled with social rejection? Did this have a big impact on your creativity?
Jessi: I was the “weird” girl in high school. I was the nerdy editor in chief of the paper. I was obsessed with it, I pretty much only talked to teachers and I lived in the computer lab. I also painted my car senior year, which I’m sure didn’t help my case much.
[Pics of painted car named Felix (which I lovingly demanded): http://jhaish.blogspot.com/2011/02/felix-my-love-my-light.html]
Jessi: I’ve always had trouble with making friends, and then just as much trouble keeping them. I’m too picky and I’m too honest. So maybe I created some of my own social rejection, but it has always benefited me. At the same time, I never had a serious relationship until I was in high school. I was that “friend” that was always single, the third wheel, you name it.
Mandy: Do you feel like you learned a lot about people by observing them from the third wheel perspective?
Jessi: Yes! I learned a lot being the 3rd wheel.
Mandy: What experience did you observe that had a lasting impact on you emotionally? Or maybe perspective-wise, that maybe helped you avoid mistakes later?
Jessi: I waited a lot longer to be in a relationship, because I saw how silly, dramatic and time-consuming they could be. So I waited for something that was great. I saw a lot of different “types” of guys, girls and relationships because some of my friends were definitely serial-daters. As bad as it sounds, I learned from their mistakes… I could see what they had to determine what I wanted, and so when I found it or saw it, I felt a little more confident about it.
Mandy: By the term “serial-dater,” would you say that the person in question couldn’t exist as their own person and needed to be with someone to have an identity?
Jessi: That’s definitely how it came off, but in high school, that describes almost everyone. It was just getting out of a relationship, and bouncing in to the next. It feels like some people can’t exist without their…person, and that’s sad to me. When they were engulfed in all these relationships, I was figuring out who I was, what I enjoyed and what I wanted out of life. For example, I know that if I had dated like that, I wouldn’t have put as much or any effort into the newspaper, and I’m not sure what I’d be doing right now.
Mandy: Did it make you afraid of dating, seeing all the other people let it consume their lives?
Jessi: Definitely afraid! I don’t know if you read This Totally Awesome Boy series on my blog, but when someone was interested in me, I panicked. I imagined the worst, because I’m a big over-thinker. I figured I’d be single forever, and I was pretty much content with that!
Mandy: So being single forever…was there bitterness in that possibility, or excitement? In other words, did you associate freedom with being single?
Jessi: Excitement! I definitely associate freedom with that. I didn’t want to be the person who was attached at the hip to someone else. I wanted to be able to do what I wanted and not have a shadow/be a shadow. You may learn a lot from yourself being in a relationship, but I think you learn just as much, if not more, about yourself by being alone.
Mandy: Right on. Can you picture yourself being married in the future? Or are you cool with either scenario?
Jessi: I was always the person who didn’t really think about that. It sounds silly, but when everyone else was imagining their future wedding, I was thinking of prom dresses as well as college. I definitely don’t want to be alone, though. I can definitely see myself getting married eventually, but I want it to be on my terms. I wouldn’t mind being the bread winner. In fact, I’d prefer it. I don’t fit in to “wifey” stereotypes, I guess.
Mandy: LOL! I can totally see that. And relate. Okay, if you’re not a “wifey” person, would you consider yourself a home body?
Jessi: Hmm. Define home body.
Mandy: Someone who would (most nights) rather stay at home and chill rather than go out. Or someone who would like to find a place, settle down, and stay there. In other words, do you feel like you get rejuvenated by alone time, or when you’re with other people? And yes, I realize I just asked a lame introvert/extrovert question.
Jessi: Oyyyy… I’m so 50/50 on this. I definitely want to travel and “see the world,” but honestly depending on my schedule, there are some days I’d rather just hang out at home. I think that’s coming on with my old age.
Mandy: LOL! Old age…
Jessi: Alone time is good when I’m writing or I need to get something done, but to rejuvenate I’d say watching a movie with a friend or walking around a store helps a lot.
Mandy: Interesting… Okay, one more question.. Where would you like to see your writing career go?
Jessi: Oh boy. I would love to break in to journalism. I want to be writing music articles for a magazine or writing for something like Seventeen. Sure, I’d like to write a book someday. But I guess I’d just love to be able to continue blogging and work as a journalist and simply be happy.
Mandy: Rock on!! I was going to ask “what’s your favorite color,” just as a joke, but then thought better of it. …I think.
Jessi: Purple. ;)
That’s it peeps! Thanks for reading.
This blog brought to you by partially conscious insomniacs who enjoy long walks on the beach and the smell of ink in the morning…er…early afternoon.