Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Author Interview: Melissa Adendorff

Today I welcome Melissa Adendorff to the Broomstick. Melissa joined us at a late date, and still managed to complete her story ahead of time. Impressive!

1. What made you decide to take part in the JOURNEY project?
My friend Andrea told me that she was embarking on a new creative writing project, and I blurted out that I’d love to join. I have been writing my doctoral thesis for the last three years, so my creative juices desperately needed an outlet.

author Melissa Adendorff
2. How did you come up with the title of your story?
The title of my story is “I was just hungry.” It came about after a fight with my partner – I was feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, and a myriad of emotions, but all I could say was that I was hungry. That excuse stuck in my mind, and it matched my initial story concept.

3. What inspired your story?
I didn’t write out of inspiration, to be honest. I sat down in front of the computer, typed “I was just hungry”, and just let the words flow. I needed to get something off of my chest, and that’s what ended up on the page.

4. What other things, besides writing, do you like to do?
I do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Karambit knife fighting, ballet, and indoor climbing. I love to bake, and I can embroider … I am also in the final stages of my PhD, which, while not necessarily a thing I like to do, is a thing that I’ve been immersed in to the point where separation is difficult.

5. What did you learn about yourself or your journey as a writer during this project?
I gained some insight into my behaviour, in terms of the passive aggressive slips which arise from not just addressing a problem in the moment. I was reminded of the therapeutic value of writing down the thing that hurts, writing down my truth, in order to gain some distance from it.

6. What do you see as your biggest challenge as a writer?
I do not always trust in my own creative process. I have become so accustomed to writing in a formal, academic style, with references in order to justify my every thought; and I often feel “naked” without other experts to hide behind in my creative writing. I often write the first, visceral, honest draft, only to discard it in favour of something more remote and detached, because I am not really used to the emotive language anymore, and that hurts my process, because I can only write from a place of honest emotion.

7. What tool/software/technique/process do you find the most valuable to you as a writer?
I suppose my process is to have a “study buddy.” When I am working with another person, I am more motivated to complete a goal, and I have a resource right next to me for feedback if I need it. I struggle to work in isolation.

Thank you, Melissa!
Note from Linzé - Since doing the interview, Melissa has completed her PhD. Well done!

You can follow Melissa online: