Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Jessica Starks, Writer, Blogger & Much More

Jessica Starks is a freelance writer, blogger, pop culture junkie, natural hair freak, random fact lover, and much more… Her awesome blog The Pen & the Needle isn't necessarily your typical blog. Jessica says, “I classify as a lifestyle blog, but I don't have a specific niche. When I created The Pen & the Needle, I wanted to create a place for people to come and learn, laugh, and live! You never know what to expect from each post! Explore The Pen & the Needle and see what new things I can teach you today!"

Jessica is a college graduate who is currently stepping out on faith and pursuing her freelance writing career. She currently has about three and a half years’ experience under her belt, and she is eager to gain more. 

At what age did it occur to you that you wanted to be a writer?
In all honestly, I think I came straight from the womb wanting to be a writer, ha! I have seriously loved writing ever since I could remember. However, I was about 17 or 18 when I realized that writing was my true calling.

Describe your office and where you write...
I guess you can say I'm a rolling stone. "Wherever I lay my laptop is my home!" - like my Temptations reference? Anyway, I write in my bed, on the back porch, on the couch, on the table in my living room, on my phone...literally everywhere!

What/who inspires your creative writing?
My ancestors really inspire my creative writing. I don't know what it is, but it's almost as if they naturally present the stories to me.

What is your favorite topic/genre?
When it comes to freelance writing, I love writing entertainment/humor-based content. When writing creatively, historical fiction is my favorite.

I love your blog. Do you have a favorite blog post to date?  
Wow, that's a tough question! I think I'll go with a "Weekly Blessings" post I did about righteous indignation. The post covered what righteous indignation is, what it has to do with Christianity, and its difference from your typical, "wordly" anger. You can read the full post here.

As far as my blog goes....
I named my blog The Pen & the Needle for a number of reasons. First, there is a song by Lupe Fiasco entitled "Pen and the Needles," that I am a fan of. The song kind of fits a little bit into what my blog is about. Plus, pens and needles have multiple meanings, depending upon its content. And that's sort of what I want my blog to represent - diversity and a constant learning experience. 

Do you have a favorite blog that you read often? 
I really like JordoneWrites; her blog is definitely one of my favorites. Her testimony is so powerful and her faith is super strong. She's also an excellent writer!

Do you accept guest bloggers? If so, what type of content are you looking for?
I do accept guest bloggers! My blog tends to be a smorgasbord of thoughts, ideas, and opinions, so anything goes! I do prefer things to be family-friendly though.

As a writer, you help students compose papers. Do you offer any other specialized writing services?
I am in the process of putting together a beta reading service. That will be coming up soon, so be on the lookout!

What are your views on current world events?
I'm at the point where I hate discussing world events, simply because everything is so depressing! One minute somebody is getting killed, the next someone has lost their home, then the government is doing something crazy - yikes! But I am a Christian, and because of this I believe this is simply what is naturally supposed to happen in order for Jesus to come back. So I just sit back, pray a lot, and try to push through all the chaos going on in the world.

What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading "Disturbed Mind" by Charlotte Raine. I love how she is able to write the entire story through the point of view of each character. Amazing!

Who is your favorite author?
Ooh, this is a hard one! I don't think I have an author that I would single out as my favorite. I love a number of great authors - Chris Cleave, Ransom Riggs, Charlotte Raine, Mary Monroe, Pat G'Orge-Walker, etc...the list goes on.

What is key to writing a great article?
The key to writing a great article is passion. If you aren't remotely interested or open to being interesting in what you are writing about, your audience will know it and hate your work because of it. Great articles come from people who are passionate about writing as a whole.

Do you have advice for novice writers?
Write! Ha. Write and read. Even if you don't have a formal education, a book by itself can be a college course if you let it. And why wouldn't you write? If you don't write, are you really a writer? Practice makes perfect!

Also, make sure writing is your passion. There are so many people who decide that they want to write, but don't have the passion to keep it up. You can't write one thing and then stop - you have to keep going! If you're okay with that, then you'll do great! But if you have to force it, it's not for you.

Connect with Jessica…


Jessica Starks said...

I really enjoyed answering your questions! thank you for the opportunity to be featured on your blog - it was really an honor!

Gina said...

Thanks, Jessica! Blessings...

Ann said...

Awesome post! Thanks!