Writing with Guest Jason Stocks

Me Myself and I Radio Episode 17 show notes

Writing with Guest Jason Stocks

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On this episode of the Me Myself and I podcast, I welcome my very first guest Jason Stocks. Jason and I discuss the benefits of writing, some history, and explain why we need to incorporate more writing in our daily lives. In addition we share how writing has helped us overcome our obstacles. We’ve got lots to talk about and less than half an hour to do it in_so lets get into Me, Myself, and I shall we?

Jason Stocks was born in Arkansas and raised in Mississippi. He received his BFA from Goddard College where he studied under the direction of New Hampshire Poet Laureate Walter Butts and novelist Laurie Foos, and his MFA from Solstice of Pine Manor College, where he worked with Cave Canum Fellow, and Somerville, Massachusetts, Poet Laureate Nicole Terez Dutton. His work has appeared in numerous journals such as Calliope, Blaze Vox, Exterminating Angel Press and Confrontation.  He has had poems anthologized by Nazar Look, a Romanian publisher, which were translated into several languages including Crimean Tartar. He had internships at Both Elephant Rock Books and Drunken Boat Literary magazine. Presently he lives in Florida with his pregnant, long term fiance, their chihuahua Jelly Bean, a super sweet kingsnake named Sophie and two tarantulas. (Connect with Jason: Facebook, Google “Jason Stocks Poetry” )


AH: What obstacles has writing helped you overcome?

Answer: Depression, Pain, Criticism, Death & Animosity, Relationships, Developing a skill-set, All around

JS: The death my brother. It is in fact therapeutic. It doesn’t matter if you are doing it for fun, for a expression or as a release. It’s a good skill to have to communicate even if your the only one that’s going to read this.

AH: Why is writing a necessity in our daily lives and why don’t more people do it?

Answer: Fear, Criticism and opinions, Vulnerability, Rejection

JS: I think people are scared because you do bury your emotions. Like you said the white space is unbiased, so we pour our feelings out on the page…and we are scared of criticism. We are scared of criticism in every aspect of our lives.

AH: What advice would you give those who want to incorporation more writing into their daily lives?

Answer: Journal, Just do it, Write everyday, Read, Don’t be afraid.

JS: Start with a journal. I think most people are afraid to write because maybe they think they haven’t lived enough life yet to have anything to write about.

AH: What resource, website, or book can you recommend to people that want to improve their writing skills?

Answer: Classical literature, Charles Dickens (Great Expectations, Tale of two cities) Poets and Writers (www.p&w.org), The Poetry Foundation, The Art of Poetry (Shira Wolosky), Steven King (On Writing), The Paris Review, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Bret Easton Ellis, Enter contests

JS: You can’t understand modern literature unless you know the roots. 

Notable Quotations:

Anthony Hayes – “If you want to be good you have to surround yourself with greatness.”
“The white space is unbiased. It’s not going to judge you.”
“It’s a great tool that really; across the spectrum anybody can use at any given point in their life. ”
“You can never master something unless you are able to teach it to somebody else.”

Jason Stocks – “Writers are the people that go against the grain.”
“It’s not the story your tell, its the way you tell it.”
“I think people are scared.”
“People are forgetting how to write.”
“The thing about poetry is that every word matters.”
“It’s not a matter of how well read you are, its matter of how willing you are to be patient with the author.”
“I think you have to release your expectations. Let go of your expectations of normality.”
“Anything worth keeping is worth fighting hard to understand.”
Final Thoughts:

In any context, it seems writing is highly under utilized, invaluable resource. Anyone can write, but not everybody will. Whether it is a journal, letter, poem, short story or daily to-do list you will get to better know yourself through your thoughts. Seeing everything you have been thinking in black and white makes your vision unclouded and unbiased. Suddenly your world will become a bit more clear, your goals more attainable, more tangible.

Your Challenge:

Start a daily journal. Over the course of the next 7 days document the events and feelings you experience. Sometimes it helps to place a pad and pen at your bedside and recap the day before you go to sleep each evening. If you do not normally make use of a to-do list, make one each morning. Cross out each task as your complete it. At the end of 7 days review your entries and findings. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What did I learn?
  2. Was my time well spent?
  3. Did I complete my tasks?
  4. Did I set new goals?
  5. Will I continue some of these practices going forward?

Please email the show regarding any thoughts on this episode and your challenge results to [email protected]. Join us on FaceBook. Follow on Twitter @ahayes_mmi.

“Control the controllable, as for the rest Keep on flowing…Just be.”

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