Hi! I'm Rachel, I'm a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst English Department with specializations in Creative Writing and Technical Writing. I currently live with my Mom and little sister in Connecticut with our two dogs and two cats. (It's a tight fit, but it's so worth it!) My day job is as a supervisor in a coffee shop, I also freelance tutor English and do some freelance transcriptioning every now and then. I love reading, writing, coffee, crocheting, and making bad jokes on twitter.
What inspired you to write An Apology?
This poem was originally drafted for my creative writing thesis I wrote my senior year of college. My professor gave us an assignment he calls the "Myth Revision," where we take a classic myth and rewrite it with our own spin. I decided to take a sort of personal, family "myth" of my sister being afraid of the monsters in our shower drain (it's a true story!) and write about that.
What fuels your writing? Where do you typically find your ideas and inspiration?
For the past few years I've written predominantly non-fiction, so most of my writing inspiration comes from my family. I love writing about moments, about things that seem mundane but actually have a great impact on our lives. Non-fiction is a great place to do that.
What is your writing day like? Is there a particular environment that stimulates your creativity? Do you have any writing routines or rituals that you practice?
I don't write as often as I should be, but when I do sit down and get a chance to write, it's usually a few hours before bed (I've always been a night owl). Oddly enough, I think I get my best writing done on trains, cross-country buses, or even long car rides. Something about travelling, or being in the "in-between," so to speak, is inspiring to me.
Write as much as you can. Everyone says this, but it's worth repeating. Write until your eyes hurt, until the room is spinning, until your hand falls off. Just keep writing.
What is your writing kryptonite?
Ooh, my phone is a big one. I could be writing, stop my phone to check a text, and spend an hour scrolling through social media, reading news articles, or playing games. I have to put my phone on "Do Not Disturb" to get any real work done.
How long have you been writing? Was there a defining moment that led you down this path or a person who encouraged or helped shape you as a writer?
Honestly, I've been writing for as long as I can remember. I think my dream job has always been to be an author, ever since I understood what an author was.
I couldn't talk about my passion for writing without mentioning my teachers growing up, from first grade through my senior year of college. I was lucky to have teachers who understood how important writing was, and who recognized my passion and budding skills and encouraged me to work on them. And of course, I owe a lot to my parents, who were as enthusiast and passionate about my writing as I was, and always encouraged the hobby.
Are there any authors who have influenced your writing?
The past few years, I've looked for a lot of inspiration from my favorite contemporary, female, short-fiction writers: Roxane Gay, Amy Hempel, Maggie Nielsen, and Miranda July for example. I admire the ability these women have to make such intricate, vulnerable stories that leave a lasting effect on readers in such few words.
What are you reading right now?
I'm currently alternating between The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead and Welcome to Night Vale by Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink, both of which I really like so far.
What other forms and genres do you enjoy writing?
I write primarily prose, usually non-fiction. Writing poetry is still relatively new to me. I think creative non-fiction will always be my go-to genre, but right now I'm really having fun exploring other genres and writing styles, and I also think it's making me a better writer.
Of your other published works, do you have a personal favorite you would like to share with our readers? Where can we find it?
Last year The Forge published my non-fiction piece "Chemo-Brain." It was my first publication and one of the best pieces I think I've ever written. You can find it at forgelitmag.com
What’s next? Do you have any writing projects on the horizon?
Unfortunately, nothing concrete on the horizon. I just finished a move and a job change, so hopefully now that I'm a little more settled I can focus more of my free-time back on writing!
What words do you live by? Do you have a personal motto?
Honestly, as simple as it sounds, whenever I am in a particular stressful moment or point in my life, I just repeat in my head what my mom used to say to me often when I was a stressed, anxiety-ridden teenager: take it one day at a time.
If you could share any advice for aspiring writers, what would it be?
Write as much as you can. Everyone says this, but it's worth repeating. Write until your eyes hurt, until the room is spinning, until your hand falls off. Just keep writing. Also, save as much of your writing as you can. Even the stuff you think is a steaming pile of garbage. Whether it's to look back on to see how far you've come or to create something new out of an old idea, it'll come in handy someday, I promise.
About the Author
Rachel Lauth is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst English program with specializations in creative writing and technical writing. She has a non-fiction essay published in The Forge literary magazine. She currently lives with family in Connecticut, where she writes and drinks far too much coffee.
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