Welcome to another post of my blog feature, The Master and Her Piece.
It’s an interview I do with women who inspire me and others to live and create better. I ask questions about their masterpieces or their works, their inspiration and ideas, their motivation, their challenges and their advice; to hopefully encourage my readers, too.
Today, I am pleased to feature Toni Tiu, the exceptional blogger behind Wifely Steps. She has a way with words that really draws me into her stories and allows me to experience the emotions. I especially like her love stories, her yummy food adventures and posts about her fun times with her son.
Reading her answers to my questions, I feel inspired to write more, to create more. I hope you will feel the same when you start digesting these wise words from Toni of Wifely Steps. A treat awaits you, dear readers, at the end of this interview.
1. Please tell me something about this masterpiece. A brief background.
A lot of the poems and stories are inspired by love – frustrations, hopes, dreams, gratitude. There are so many ways to tell a story about love, so many ways to express it. I love writing about second-chance love, simply because I believe love never quits on you! There’s also unrequited love, with “the one who got away” fueling a lot of love daydreams (and delusions). Every poem and short story is a fragment of one big masterpiece, I believe. It’s a collection of poems and stories on love.
2. What inspires you to create your masterpiece? Where do you get your amazing ideas?
Inspiration comes from so many things. Sometimes I write a poem out of a burning desire to express anger, sadness or joy. It’s so cathartic. Other times I am inspired by a picture I see. I try to imagine a story behind the picture, and then write out my interpretation of the scene. Some pieces are borne out of my own frustrations, my own dreams. They may not happen in real life, but at least, on paper (or on-screen), they come to life.
3. What motivates you to keep creating? Even if the little details seem so mundane, what pushes you to go on?
Emotions. Have you ever felt that heaviness in your heart when you wanted to cry but couldn’t, or wouldn’t? That’s how I feel with writing poetry and short stories. When there’s something begging to be written, begging to be expressed, I have to grab a pen and paper, or my laptop, and start pouring out the story. There’s always a story that wants to be told, but if you can’t tell it in an authentic, genuine way, it won’t come out truthful. So when I feel that surge of emotion in my chest, whether it’s elation or disappointment, I have to let it out. It’s when I’m most emotional that I create better. I think that’s what makes the best stories too.
4. What was the biggest challenge you have encountered while creating your masterpiece? How did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge in creating stories is challenging my inner censor. Sometimes I’m afraid to put things on paper, because when it’s written down, it’s as if your dreams and frustrations are confronting you. “Why aren’t you doing anything about it?” “Aren’t you too old to be having these daydreams?” So I end up not writing, or if I do write I feel as if I’m blocking myself from spilling out the truth. Then I get stuck. To overcome it, I write stream-of-consciousness style. There’s no room for the inner censor there. If I feel it creeping up on my shoulder, I purposely ignore it, as if flicking it off my shoulder like a piece of dirt. It’s hard to be truthful to your emotions when logic and self-doubt are watching over your shoulder.
5. What advice would you give to anyone who is toying with ideas, or in the process of putting her passion into action?
Follow your truth. When you are genuinely excited or genuinely appalled by an idea or an emotion, express it. Whether it’s the written word, a pot of clay you shape with your hands, a watercolor painting, an interpretative dance — express your truth. The truth is your story, and it comes to life in so many ways. You are limitless in your creativity so celebrate that truth, celebrate those stories, celebrate those passions.
Toni shares poetry and short stories on her blog from time to time. She also has a secret page on her blog that she shares with limited readers (those who subscribe to her newsletter), and she’d like to share them with us! The link is http://www.wifelysteps.com/
secret-cove/ 🙂 See you at the cove!
Thank you so much, Toni!