interview by Shristi Jaiswal
As Professor Keating said, “Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”
Our world is filled with countless instances, be it something as small as watching the first flake of snow hit the dusty ground to something as big as deciding to share a life with the love of your life. These appealing occasions give our mundane lives meaning and poetry, or rather any form of art, gives a passionate sense of recognition to these moments.
During our conversation with New York based writer Sasha Nudel, we grasped what it means to delve deeper into the world of poetry and learnt how words impact our day to day existence. Further, we explore her tumultuous journey that comes in tow with being a writer and finally her endeavour to become unapologetically herself.
What is your writing process? Do you get a sudden thought that you note down on paper or do you set aside a time period to work?
I often get inspired by the simplest words and ideas. For instance, I might see a door/gate and instantly draw an analogy to a topic of interest. I do often get sudden whiffs of inspiration and whatever is on my mind I absolutely must put down on paper or in my iPhone notes to work on it later, usually at night.
Have you considered writing a novel?
Taking into consideration that I mostly write about my personal experiences, my novel would be more of a memoir and I think I want to create more memories before I write a memoir.
One book you believe that has changed your life?
Besides poetry, I mostly read books about psychoanalysis, human design, and self-improvement and one of the most impactful books I have recently read was Untamed by Glennon Doyle.
How has the city of New York influenced your writing?
New York has influenced me and my writing tremendously. Living here makes you feel like you have limitless potential. It has taught me courage and gifted me an abundance of inspiration.
Do you practice any other form of art excluding writing?
I practice painting and drawing as a leisurely activity but I wouldn’t call my attempts art.
“I used to spend a long time overanalyzing every single word and punctuation mark in my poems… I learned to leave my first draft for some time and come back to it to edit just one last time.”
Are your poetries usually the first draft or do you spend time editing?
I used to spend a long time overanalyzing every single word and punctuation mark in my poems, but it would do more harm than good. I learned to leave my first draft for some time and come back to it to edit just one last time.
A travel destination you consider a writer’s heaven?
I consider myself very lucky to have travelled a lot around the world. I’ve written in other countries, but no place tugs at my heartstrings as much as Paris does. Having said that, to me Paris is not a city, it’s rather a state of mind.
Most of your writings hold a feeling of deep rooted sensuality. What makes you connect to this genre of writing?
I’m an empath to a fault. I feel things keenly and it brings me pleasure and inspiration to ignite feelings in other people. Connecting to someone emotionally sparks the most magical chemical reaction in my brain. My sensuality is just a by-product of that reaction.
What drew you to writing when you were younger?
I started writing poems in Russian when I immigrated to the United States from Ukraine at the age of 16. I didn’t think of it as writing, back then it was more like journaling.
What is your remedy for a writer’s block?
My remedy for a writer’s block is proactively creating and getting lost in unforgettable moments.
How long have you lived in New York? What is your favourite memory in New York?
I am 35 years old and I’ve lived in New York since I was 16, and I have to say, I’ve I fully taken advantage of living here. Having said that, my favourite and most profound memories are always associated with people not locations.
“My favourite and most profound memories are always associated with people not locations.”
What do you do to get your creative juices flowing?
I live. I Experience. I let things happen to me. I happen to things. I feel. I show my feelings.
Why did you choose the words ‘A Mouth Full of Lust’ as your book title?
I feel consumed by my lust for life and I act on it, from pursuing my passions to being unapologetically true to myself.
What moment that can you recall in your life made you realize that you made it as writer?
To be honest, I am not sure if I truly made it as a writer, but I feel incredibly proud of my poetic journey and grateful to have gotten the most touching feedback about my words from my readers.
How would you describe your publishing process?
I’d be lying if I said that my publishing process was painless. Rejections sting, but they’re necessary. It took patience and perseverance to make the book happen.
Any quote to leave us with?
I’ll use my own quote from the book, which I also use as my daily mantra: There’s this one thing to be made clear. To find your passion, you must follow your fear.