Now let me introduce you to a new writer from Florida, Christina Díaz Gonzalez, who has published her first book, The Red Umbrella. How exciting! Her book is published by Knopf, a division of Random House that has been very supportive of my work including my work on Día. Christina, a lawyer, is teaching me about the Cuban experience in the U.S., especially in Florida. I’m wishing Christina a long and rewarding writing life.
1. Tell us about yourself.
2. Do you think of yourself as creative?
CDG: This is an interesting question because I’ve never considered myself to be creative…I was just a girl with a very vivid imagination who loved to read and write. However, the more I think about it, I suppose all writers are creative… so yes, I guess I am creative!
3. How do you nurture your creativity?
CDG: I am inspired by so many things. Sometimes it’s art, music, books, movies, tv or just observing the world around me. I try to stay open to all ideas…wherever they come from.
4. What are your challenges in your creativity practices? Is fear an element?
CDG: Oh my, fear is ALWAYS something to be reckoned with and overcome. Self-doubt tries to rear its ugly head while I’m writing and it is a battle to ignore it. Then, when the book is done, there are the nagging questions of whether others will love it. I’ve found that the only way I can move forward is to focus on the story itself and trust that others will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.
5. Do you have a space that helps you be more creative?
CDG: I don’t have one particular spot for creativity. It all depends on the book I’m writing. It seems that certain books call for me to be in a bright, sunny spot and other require a more gloomy setting.
6. How do you find time to be creative; to develop your creative life? Do you set aside a regular time each day or go on a retreat, etc?
CDG: I am always thinking of different stories and scenes for the book I may be writing, but I sometimes have to force myself to set aside time to put it all down on paper (or in my case type it on my laptop) because life (and laundry) seem to get in the way. Thankfully, I have a critique partner (similar to a gym partner) and we check-in with each other to make sure the writing gets done!