R.R. Noall is an LGBTQ poet living in Denver, Co. In addition to working in marketing, Noall teaches college English and is the founding editor of a From Whispers to Roars. Her third poetry collection, At War with Stars, was released this October.
Rachel, thank you for chatting with me today. Let’s dive right in. How did you start your writing career?
I always knew I wanted to be a writer. It was just a matter of allowing myself to “become” one.
I gave myself a nudge by doing something relatively extreme; I quit my job and started writing. That was over five years ago.
Wow. What a move! What advice can you give to people who want to be writers or artists?
People ask me this question a lot. The answer is two-fold.
First, start doing whatever you want to be doing.
Want to write novels? Start one.
Want to be a painter? Start painting.
Want to get into street art, sculpture, or collage? Do it.
Half of the battle is starting.
Next, and this one’s important – start telling people “what” you are.
The first time I said, “I’m a writer,” out loud was such a validating and empowering moment. I wish for all creatives to have that feeling.
Sounds like great advice. I always think it’s so interesting that creativity comes to people at different times in their life.
That is very true. There’s a misconception that people are either creative or not.
I think that all people are driven by creativity, regardless of the medium through which it arises. People are called to create at different times in their lives, and the result is always unique. It just goes to show that life experience, environment, and relationships play a central role in how we express ourselves.
I have realized, too, that there is far more overlap between creativity and the work environment than we ever talk about throughout our formative years. We are often told that you can do this (work in an office) OR that (be an artist). In 2020, this is completely untrue, and I think that’s why we’re seeing more “hidden” creatives sharing their work on social media.
It’s fascinating. Tell me more about how you foster creativity. It seems like you’re a busy poet! How do you stay inspired?
My surroundings have a huge impact on creativity.
I live in Colorado, and I am lucky to be surrounded by beautiful landscapes, vivid colors, wildlife, and get to experience all of the seasons.
Living here, in many ways, is like a constant vacation. As busy as I am professionally, I am always refreshed by nature.
I know that not all creatives have this kind of relationship with nature or the place that they live. When I’m asked by peeps how to foster creativity, and few things come to my mind:
A change of scene is always helpful. Anything new. Anything out of the ordinary or unfamiliar. It helps to stimulate the senses and alleviates even the worst writer’s block or lack of motivation.
Revisiting a place or thing that’s nostalgic helps too. So many things flood back – memories, smells, feelings. This activity helps with self-reflection, which is an attribute that, I believe, always contributes to great art.
It may sound ironic, but establishing a creative ritual is essential as well. Try to set aside time for brainstorming, drafting, research, and exploration in regards to your latest piece of art or writing. Carving out this time helps you stay on track and productive.
Tell us about your new poetry collection, At War with Stars.
I am very proud of the journey that this book represents. I wrote this collection during a pivotal time in my life; I was in graduate school for poetry and experimenting with new poetic forms, and I had also just met the love of my life (now wife).
All of these factors contributed to the collection’s themes of self-discovery, finding, and seeking. At War with Stars is for anyone who feels both disconnected and connected to the universe.
Awesome! Thank you, Rachel. Where can readers find you online?
Excellent, thank you so much!