Updated: Aug 29
Ashley Anderson is one of our interns for the summer of 2021. Her writing life focuses around expressing her faith and preserving experiences through devotionals and journals. She sat down to answer a few questions and allow a glimpse into her mind and writing life.
Was there any moment or experience where you first considered yourself a writer?
Probably my freshman year of college. I wanted to be able to have some sort of record of, um... just life things. I mostly started writing just so I wouldn't forget when I'm older, and that turned into, "Hey, I really like this. I want to continue to talk about myself and what I go through so my kids and my grandkids have something of me." So they can know my trials and walk with God and how He's changed my life. That's kind of how it started.
What are some things unique to your writing process and the writing life?
I don't really know if I have a "process" process. I like to write outside; that's kind of my "at peace" spot, you know. It's hard for me to start writing when I feel like I have a hundred other things to do... I feel like I need to have a good chunk of time to just sit down and get everything out on paper. I like to have that more in-depth writing time. If I don't have that, then it's really hard for me.
Describe your writing space.
Nature, if that counts. I'm a big sunset/sunrise kind of girl, and just anything like the flowers and the new seasons. It's just a way to see Jesus and creation, and I love that.
If you could meet any author from history, who would it be?
That's a good one... probably Francine Rivers. She writes very historically correct books that are also faith-based. I'd want to just hear her process and how she did all the research so that she could write so realistically and Biblically-correct. I would ask about how long it takes to do research for just one book like that. Her stories are just incredible.
What advice would you give a new writer starting out, especially in your field?
I'd say just write, just keep writing. You may look back and think "Oh, it looks like a child wrote this," and it probably will at first. But you'll get better, and as you begin to develop as a writer then you see your own style start to change and mature. It is hard to start, but once you start it's so rewarding at the end.
When has your creative work helped you through new experiences and hard journeys?
That is a tough question. I had some tough times at school this year with people who I thought weren't treating me very well. I'm a confrontational person when I need to be, but I don't like to be. So a good outlet for me was being able to write about it and list "this is where they've hurt me, but this is how I can come back and still be a friend to them. It was a really good way to process that so I don't just walk around upset at them all the time. It gave me a way to process those emotions, even though it was really painful sometimes.
What is one quote you have saved somewhere to inspire and encourage your writing life?
Would a Bible verse count? It's Psalm 118:24.
That's really helpful for me because it's easy to just wake up and go through the motions, but each day is a gift given by God and we're supposed to use it for His glory. If I'm not attacking this day to share God with others, then what's the point? It's a good reminder that we've been given so much, and we need to take it
and rejoice and share it with others.
Ashley Anderson is from St. Louis, MO, a senior at Greenville University and majoring in English with a minor in Business. She is our editorial intern this summer working on our new imprint Light Shine Books. She has three younger brothers and loves to spend her time playing basketball with her family, reading & writing, as well as eating ice cream! Ashley is a Christ follower and strives to live to make him known.
Listen and join poetry editor and professor Dr. Beth Gulley, and Polly Alice McCann in the word of the day poetry edition of the Ketchupedia podcast. How do we Listen to ourselves, to a person, to an object? What is micro poetry? And how do really we revise a poem?
Beth Gulley lives in Kansas City and teaches writing at Johnson County Community College. She has an MA from UMKC and a PhD from the University of Kansas. She recently published a chapbook, $!*# Hole Countries: A Find and Replace Meditation. Her poems also appear in the Bards Against Hunger Anthology, From Everywhere a Little: A Migration Anthology, the Thorny Locust, and The Gasconade Review Presents: Storm A’Comin’. She loves thrift store shopping, traveling, and drinking coffee.
Flying Ketchup Press ® grassroots and artist-run, we are a trademarked small press in Kansas City using traditional and hybrid publishing formats established to develop new and diverse voices in poetry and short story. Our dream is to salvage lost treasure troves of written and illustrated work-- to create worlds of wonder and delight; to share stories.
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