In a recent interview with Toni Morrison, I had the opportunity to ask her a question that propelled me into action regarding my personal writings. The interview was hosted by Google Play and they invited me along with a few of my peers into a special Google+ hangout on air with Ms. Morrison.
We had the opportunity to ask her questions that related to her writings and her latest book, Home. My question to her was simple yet her answer impacted me dramatically because it made me come out of my writers closet. Watch the video below for my unique question (my question starts around minute 3:45).
Highlights from the interview with Toni Morrison
Below are some of the key points that Ms. Morrison stated during the interview:
- She thinks about her characters for months before she even starts writing.
- When inspiration arrives she begins writing the book.
Toni writes for people like her.
- Toni feels you should write and then revise a lot. Don’t worry in the beginning that your writing isn’t perfect.
- She encourage writer’s to write what you don’t know about to extend your imagination.
After viewing the video, you see why I said Ms. Morrison's answer impacted my life. It was simple yet it helped me to get past my “perfectionist” hangup about authoring my book. Notice I saying “authoring” now! It's because I now consider myself an author and not just a writer.
Why do I make a distinction? Let's checkout what Webster has to say about the definition for writer and author:
- Writer – one that writes
- Author – one that originates or creates
Now that I have created an original work that will be published in my favorite genre, Inspirational Romance, I feel more like an author. I'm not just writing and staying in my old writer's closet. I'm bursting out and authoring my work and will soon publish it. The title of my book is Love's TriLoJee and I'm very excited!
Now a little bit about Toni Morrison
For those who may not be familiar with Toni Morrison, let me share a little bit about her. She was the first black woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature. Ms. Morrison was actually born with the name Chloe Anthony Wofford, in Lorain, Ohio. From an early age I believe that she felt that she was going to be an author because she had a passion for reading & writing. She was the only child who could read in her early classes and I believe that this gave birth to her love for reading.
During her formative years at home, she heard many songs and tales of black folklore which helped to build her foundation for literature. Being proud of her heritage is a key to Ms. Morrison staying true to her writings and overcoming obstacles that life has thrown her way. While attending college, many people couldn't pronounce her first name correctly, so she changed it to Toni which is a shortened version of her middle name. After graduating with her master’s degree, she began teaching English, got married and joined a writers' group.
Now here's and interesting tidbit about how she started sharing her writings publicly. One week, having nothing written to discuss with her writers' group, she quickly wrote a story loosely based on a girl she knew from childhood who had prayed to God for blue eyes. This quickly written story was the basis for her critically acclaim book, The Bluest Eyes.
After traveling Europe, Ms. Morrison started a job as a text book editor. During her evenings, after her children had fallen asleep, she started authoring. She decided to take the story from the writers' group and make it into a novel. She continued in her editing career and her first book, The Bluest Eyes, was published in 1970.