Katelin Wagner is a 19 year old spoken word poet, pre-med student, and writer based in Los Angeles, California. She holds a feature on Russell Simmons’ All Def Digital: All Def Poetry and is also the Creative Youth Talent Director at SpokenVizions Magazine.
What inspires you to write?
A variety of things, I honestly don’t know what initially drew me to it when I was younger but I suppose the healing process that comes with it. I mostly write about things that have happened in my life, so my family, friends, guys, race and ethnicity, society- it all plays a role in what I want to talk about.
Tell us about your writing process.
There really isn’t one for me! Perhaps this is me just being a teenager but when I sat down to write this book, I didn’t even know I was going to be writing a book. I dunno if that makes sense but I initially just write as a way of answering unsolved questions in my life and if a book or collection of work comes from it: fantastic but if not: oh well. Often times, when I sit down to write I have a playlist going, some food, and I just let a line or idea come to me and just work off that- sometimes that original line may the first line of the poem, it may be the last, but it’s a very relaxing and somewhat meditative process for me.
What advice would you give other writers?
-Write about what you know. A lot of the times I’ve seen people just write about certain topics that they have no connection to just to seem unique…I think those sort of things become evident in your writing….when it’s not genuine.
-Let your poem or piece of writing come to you. I’ve been frustrated to no end where I feel only a part of a poem brimming at my fingertips, then I write it down, but nothing else comes…Just leave it at that, because if you force it definitely won’t be as good as if you had waited.
-Write for yourself and what makes you happy.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I just knew I wanted to publish it and do it in the right way where I had a voice and a sizable amount of control over the process. For anyone who wants to publish, just Do. Your. Research. These are your words and your passion we are talking about, so just take it as seriously as possible….it’s not about how quickly you need to get it published, it’s about the quality of the publisher and if the entire process will be enjoyable and satisfactory for you as an artist.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the sky is sort of the limit. The thing with publishing is that lately it’s become anyone can publish anything, which is really interesting and kind of a “no-rules” type thing. But also, if you factor the internet into this, it almost becomes a Wild West…so I’m intrigued to see where we’ll be 5-10 years from now.
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
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