I was fortunate to interview Megan O’keeffe, author of Cracked Open (2018) and Debatably Dateable, a blog about poetry, romance, and love. Her latest poetry collection, Where I Ache, is available for pre-order on Amazon. (2019). Read on to learn more about the poet behind the pen.
How do you deal with writer’s block? What is your advice on how to overcome it?
Writer’s block usually comes when there’s pressure to write about a certain topic or a deadline is fast approaching. For me, I tend to get inspiration driving around and attending concerts and musicals so I try to listen to music to help get the words flowing. My advice would be to learn where you get inspiration from and to not force work just because you’re running out of time. Allow yourself some peace as you allow inspiration in from the art around you and the words will come to you.
What do you do when you are not writing?
When I’m not writing I’m going to classes, spending time with my dog, and working on my blog. I also go to events and new restaurants with my boyfriend and my sisters. I’m always up for new Hulu and Netflix suggestions!
Please tell us about your upcoming poetry collection. What’s the title? What can readers expect from this book?
The book, Where I Ache, focuses on depression, self-esteem, grief, and self-love and there’s a lot of mental and physical pain here. Mental health can be such a delicate topic and often gets avoided because of that. I wanted to publish this collection so that the readers could be their own little community of support and unity. The chapters refer to different parts of the body (head, heart, spine) focusing on different parts of where the speaker is aching. I want my readers to know that it’s okay to be sad and feel this pain and to know that there is a community that supports them.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting this book completed and published?
This collection seemed to have a lot more moving parts than the first collection, so it was difficult to keep everything organized the way I wanted. The most challenging thing for me when writing any collection is writing the new, exclusive poems for that particular collection. For me, it’s a challenge to force myself to write about a particular topic on demand. I also need to write about this topic in a different perspective from all the other poems in my collection to avoid redundancy.
Is there a specific message or a recurring theme you communicate through your art?
A recurring theme is definitely love but it comes in different forms such as love lost, sensual love, jealousy, and true love.
Were you ever hesitant when it came to writing or sharing a specific poem? Why?
I have absolutely been afraid to publish some poems. Poetry is very vulnerable and raw to me and you’re not always sure readers will share the same feelings. But it’s always been worth it to share those vulnerable words.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The toughest criticism was probably hearing that my first collection was a bit flat and repetitive but the best was a compliment on my smart usage of paper real estate and packing emotion in just 5 lines.
What motto, quote, or saying do you live by? Why?
The quote I try to live by is “If it’s not going to matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes being upset about it.” I’m a rather anxious person so I try to keep this in mind when I’m stressed about an exam or a conversation that went wrong.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Hm this is a fun question that I haven’t thought of but the best I have for now is “Sprouting from the Soil”.
What’s next for you? What does your future hold?
Obviously, I’ll be marketing Where I Ache for the rest of the year. But I’ve also been organizing my next collection that I hope to publish in 2020 but one thing at a time, haha.
Thank you for taking the time to participate in this interview. Can you tell us where people can find you? Website, social media, blog, etc.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Megan-OKeeffe/e/B07D24KQ7L/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Thanks for having me!
TL Publishing Group LLC