I love supporting people in their journeys, especially writers. Today I would like to introduce Rachel Weatherly a writer for the amazing website Reedsy known for their support of authors looking to refine and publish their works. So please join me in this post as we celebrate the writing and life journey of Rachel.
Tell us a little bit about your journey as a writer? What inspired you to take this journey?
I haven’t been writing for that long––I properly started writing in university. I have a book review Instagram page, where I have written smaller reviews, mainly for my friends. After that, I decided I liked writing criticism and wrote for my university newspaper. However, my love of writing fiction really stemmed from when I started reading short story collections a few summers ago.
What do you like the most about what you do?
I enjoy having a creative outlet that is flexible to my current moods, interests, and desires. I also like using writing as a means to take popular culture and creativity more seriously––especially forms of culture that traditionally get written off as ‘feminine’ (and by that mark, non-serious).
What sort of writing do you do?
I am currently a writer for Reedsy, which allows me to write all sorts of interesting things. The writing I have done up until now has been mainly journalistic––I love reading and writing reviews of books, but I have also reviewed films and albums too. I majored in sociology and politics major, so I love a bit of critical analysis! I am also a hobbyist short story writer. They haven’t yet seen the light of day, but I like turning my life experiences into neater, fictional vignettes, à la my favourite short story writer, Lucia Berlin.
Do you have any current projects (or goals) you are working on you would like to tell us more about?
I’m trying to learn Italian at the moment. I was reading about Ann Goldstein, the New Yorker journalist who translated Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet. She started learning Italian when she was in her late twenties, and then landed this incredible job. After the pandemic I would like to live in Italy and develop my proficiency in the language––and perhaps start using it professionally––who knows!
Is there anything else that you have learned or discovered on your journey that you would like to share (or give others advice about)?
My main advice is to show your writing to people you trust. It can be difficult to receive constructive criticism, but if you are able to embrace it and take the critique on board, your work will be all the better for it.
Do you have any other hobbies or fun things you like to do besides writing?
Learning Italian is the main activity I have taken on to distract me at the moment. I also love scouring cookbooks and giving lots of different recipes a go. I’m an avid reader as well––I’m currently reading John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces.
Let’s do some fun questions. What is your favorite food?
My favourite food changes all the time––at the moment it’s a type of Cypriot bread called Çörek, which is super soft, covered in seeds and baked in a way that makes it easy to pull apart. It’s delicious!
What would a perfect Saturday look like to you?
A perfect Saturday for me would definitely involve seeing my friends––we might go for lunch, go thrift shopping, and then go and relax in a local park. If I was alone, I would go to the park myself to read!
If you could travel to any planet in our solar system, which would it be, and why?
I’m a pisces, which is a water sign, and I think I was born with my moon in Neptune, so I suppose that makes Neptune my astral home!
What’s your favorite show or movie to watch?
I became obsessed with The Sopranos last year––it’s superb storytelling––there’s been a lot of discussion about it on social media lately, but I think it’s too reductive to say The Sopranos is a show about the mob. The matriarchal figures––especially mob boss Tony Soprano’s therapist, Dr Melfi, and his wife, Carmela, are amazingly written, strong female characters that also serve as prisms through which you understand Tony’s psyche: his motivations, his ambitions, and his anxieties. The way these filial and romantic dynamics influence ‘business’ decisions is interesting in the way it humanises these violent mobsters. Most of the characters are incredibly lacking in self-awareness and remorse––they live lives of excess and privilege built on the suffering of others––yet you still somehow empathise with and root for them.
Have you ever had pets, and if so, which was your favorite (tell us what kind of pet it was too), and why?
My sister and I were guinea-pig mad when we were younger––we had 15 over the course of several years, the most we ever had at one time was 8. I was particularly fond of Marmite, a long haired black and white sheltie.
That’s was some fantastic information. I think I’d like to go to Neptune too, and eight guinea-pigs at a time! Yikes! You had a small zoo! lol…
I asked Rachel if she could share a little bit of her writing with us. She agreed to write a blog post about writing in difficult times. She has some really great advice on this topic. I can’t wait to share this with you. Please check back Sunday, March 7th for her awesome article.