Creative Writing Across Time Zones



I’ve been comparing notes with fellow blogger Joy Bautista Collado on what creative writing means to us. We live in different time zones, eight hours apart: she lives in the Philippines, and I live in the UK. I wondered how the geographical difference would affect our responses. Would there be any obvious cultural differences? This is the conversation we had:

What do you love about creative writing? What inspires you?

Katie: I have to admit, I’ve been struggling for inspiration today. Then I heard a piece of choral music. It made me think about being inside a monastic cathedral, with the candles flickering on old paintings. It’s these unexpected bursts of inspiration that lead to stories.

Joy: What I love about creative writing is that, I can go to different realms and worlds. Imagination is the limit.

Katie: Yeah, I also love creative writing because there’s so much scope to create magical images, and reveal secrets, to take your reader on a journey. I’d like to go beyond myself, and be part of something greater, to become immersed in the ancient craft of story-telling.

Joy: Also, I am able to express my other self. Knowing that other people are touched by what I have written inspires me to write more.


What don’t you like about creative writing? What do you struggle with?

Katie: I don’t like the times when my ideas fragment, or when I feel like I’ve gone up a blind alley.

Joy: I’m struggling with having the discipline to consistently write everyday.

Katie: Yeah, I can relate to that. I also feel bad when I spend time reading and researching, but struggle to start a new story.

Joy: I also struggle with the thought that, if I can write a good story or novel.

Katie: I have times when I really wonder if I my ideas will turn into good stories. Usually, though, I’ll go back over my notes, a few days later, and find there’s something there after all!


What do you ultimately hope to achieve by sharing your work?

Katie: By sharing my stories, and discussing them, I hope to write better stories with greater empathy. I would love to see them in print.

Joy: I hope to ultimately to touch a lot of people through my writing.

Katie: I like that. At the moment, I’m enjoying being part of a blogging community, and connecting with people I wouldn’t otherwise know. Reaching out to people has spurred me on in my writing.

Joy:  My ultimate dream is for someone to read my work in the future and say: “It’s because of your work that I love reading books” or “Because of your works, I want to write.”

Joy and I haven’t yet met each other in person, but our responses share some surprising similarities. We both understand the magic of story-telling. We feel compelled to reach out to readers, and share our ideas, to change lives.

What motivates you, as a reader, a writer, or both? Thanks for reading.

You can find more about Joy on her blog:

About Katie Hamer

I am a writer, an artist, a photographer, philosopher, interior designer, listener, and explorer.
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9 Responses to Creative Writing Across Time Zones

  1. joybcollado says:

    Cool! We should try this again. 🙂

  2. Hi, you two, this is great. What a nice conversation. I love what you said about inspiration.

  3. Pingback: The Joy of Writing – Mary S. Sentoza | Get Bliss or Die Trying

  4. Mirel says:

    Nice post! Like your comments about what you like about creative writing. As for me, I like the way creative writing lets us play with ideas in different ways, explore new avenues. And since I’m a pantser, I love watching where the story leads me.

    • Katie Hamer says:

      It’s lovely to hear your comments on my post! I’m learning, since I took up the FabNano challenge, that I’m a pantser too! My excuse is that I believe too much plotting makes a story predictable. Letting a story grow organically is much more natural.

      It’s like when I go for a walk I haven’t been on before. I’ll set off with a map and good intentions, but I know I’ll almost certainly get lost along the way. However, I always find my way home. That’s the most important thing!

      Thanks for visiting my blog. I will return the favour 🙂

      • Mirel says:

        I’m not sure if plotting makes a plot more predictable, other than to us. I think that part of it is that I’m not an unorganized thinker, my thoughts jump around, but when I sit and write, I’m focused. Also, I find the writing more exciting when I wait for the characters to reveal what happens yet. When I finished my NaNo novel, I realized that I should fit in an extra voice towards the beginning (the book is written from several different people’s perspectives. It was fun doing that!) to include some information that would tie things together. I found it the hardest to get myself to sit down and write it since I knew exactly all the bits it had to include. I found that more shackling than not knowing what was coming next.
        Bottom line, we all work differently, and that’s OK as long as it gets us there…

  5. Pingback: Day 2 of what I’ve learned | Born Again Writer

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