Happy Friday! Today we’re talking with Brenda Leifso. Brenda is not only a writer and poet, she’s also started a studio for creative writing (which you can learn about down below). Brenda’s got some great tips and fun stories for us today.
Why are you passionate about words and being creative?
When I was in grade 3, I remember being taken out of my classroom into the class for students with “special” learning needs, where I was told that I needed to be able to write more scientifically. What that meant and why writing scientifically matters as a third grader baffles me now that I have children of my own. I had to sit for afternoons at a time trying to write in “facts” only. Ah, there’s the rub. What are “facts?” The details only visible to the eye? Even then, it seemed to me facts were as much of the feel or colour of someone’s emotion, facts were everything that weren’t obvious, facts were what lived between the words.
Needless to say, I didn’t get very far writing scientifically. As a working and published writer, words remain, for me, the primary way to convey deeper layers of truth whatever the subject. Those truths are the foundations holding up humanity itself.
What got me started in being creative as a business?
As a natural creator, I’ve always found it hard to fit into a traditional job. I spent a lot of time in university (4 degrees later) learning, learning, learning, and finally ending my grad school career with an MFA in Creative Writing. Along the way, I’ve managed a magazine and taught at a variety of levels while freelance editing and writing. Marching to the beat of my own drummer just seems to be something I do! Then, one day, while walking the dog, I had the sudden bolt of realization that, while many online classes exist for copy and marketing writing, no quality structure exists for creative writers outside exclusive university and studio programs. Hence, the Studio Hive was born!
What are some of your favorite posts?
I’ve written many, but two of my favorites are Good Decisions Might Not Always Make Sense, and Time to Peek Out of the Writing Closet.
When I’m not helping other businesses and creatives thrive, what other ways do I use words?
I’m a working poet currently writing my third manuscript, Arsenic Hour, on the intricacies of motherhood. The first is published as Daughters of Men with Brick Books, and the second, Wormwood, is about to be shopped around to publishers.
What exciting plans do you have for your work?
I am so excited with the possibility of offering future iterations of the Studio program – including novel, travel, and food writing (and possibly Writing for Dudes!). What I aspire to most in my own writing is just one weekend away from the family where I can concentrate solely on getting this book done!
Do you have any tips/inspiration to share?
If you feel like you don’t have much time to sit down and write, consider all the time you spend thinking about your writing as working time, too. When you are gardening, walking the dog, or giving the kids a bath and are thinking about that line or character, know that this is quality work time. Writing needs gestation as we move through the everyday. Creative gestation occurs best when accompanied by exercise and fresh air. (Oh, and try to set a daily writing schedule for yourself – even if it’s just 10 minutes.)
You can get in touch with Brenda for the Studio Hive creative writing programs at her website, Twitter and Facebook. Brenda also works with mothers in their entrepreneur journey, you can learn more on Twitter, Facebook and her website.
Thanks Brenda! It was great to hear about your journey and I look forward to hearing rave reviews from your creative writing program. What a great idea!