This young author captured our attention with her moving poem The Space Between Assumption and Reality featured in the 2019 issue of From the Depths.
"I learned to be thankful for every day I have
With the ones I love"
At the time of publication, we had no idea how timely this message would be. Thank you for stopping by to get to know Sian.E.Martin.
I live in Aurora, Colorado, with my three brothers, my parents, and my fiancé; as well as two finicky cats, and two lovable Chihuahuas. While living in the city with such a big family keeps me busy, I love to use my free time to explore nearby historical sites and cemeteries. My other hobbies include gaming, sewing, and of course, reading!
Tell us a about your writing process.
Tea is a big must for me. Sitting down to write just isn't the same without a good cup of tea. I also write almost exclusively on my laptop and phone. My spelling and handwriting leave a lot to be desired, so I've accepted that my process requires having Google and spellcheck on hand.
How do you handle writer's block?
I usually try to take a break from the project and find a new line of inspiration. My writer's block is the story or poem telling me "this isn't what I'm supposed to be." So I need to find a new perspective to work from. Sometimes I need to read something else for a while, or call a friend and talk through my thought process. Sometimes I need to just hit the mall and window-shop until my brain can untangle.
"True success isn't writing what you think others will find profound, but writing what makes you profoundly happy."
Where do you draw inspiration from? What was the inspiration behind The Space Between Assumption and Reality?
I grew up reading a lot of fantasy and fairy tales, so magic and myths play a pretty big part in my writing. I'm also consistently inspired by the day-to-day. The way a particular sunset makes me feel, the warm glow in a room full of friends all laughing together. That strange empty sadness you feel when you drive by a place from your childhood, only to see it's now a gas station, or a new house, or a coffee shop. There is so much magic in these singular moments, and I'm fascinated by the profound effect they have on people.
The latter is the predominant inspiration for this poem. I come from a high school that has suffered through several student deaths, and a friend of mine died in a motorcycle accident my junior year of college. I was struck by how unprepared I felt to handle these incredibly emotional events. No one warns you how it feels like to watch people your age die when you're 20, 18, 16. No one tells you how to handle looking back and realizing you've misplaced your childhood optimism. So this poem was my way to find an acceptance and new perspective in these and other painful moments of growing up.
We are so sorry for your loss. You must have faced many challenges writing this piece.
I faced so many! The first draft was written during my first ever college poetry workshop (Junior year), so I was really hesitant and disjointed with my ideas. I had to learn not only how to express what I was feeling, but how to organize it into a poem. Honestly, this is probably the most challenging poem I've worked on yet.
What do you hope your readers take away from this piece?
I really want this poem to bring people comfort. I want people to read it and have a sense of "someone else has felt it too." No matter how they come to it, or how they relate to it, I want readers to feel validated in how those incredibly singular, personal moments and motifs of our lives really do have a profound impact on us.
Was there a defining moment that led you down this writerly path, or a person who encouraged or helped shape you as a writer?
I have a best friend who has supported my writing since middle school. Our whole friendship, we've written together, and we've always been inspired by each other's talent. She was the first person I called and talked to when I realized I wanted to major in Creative Writing. I don't know if or when I would have made the jump if I haven't had her support and encouragement.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
True success isn't writing what you think others will find profound, but writing what makes you profoundly happy.
What is your favorite childhood book?
Harry Potter! I'm still a massive fan. The magic and mayhem thrilled me as a child, and the themes of friendship and family have stuck with me well into adulthood.
What are you reading right now?
ADHD help books, poetry, and recently romance novels. Going from a child whose hyper-focus was reading, to an adult who struggles to get through a page means I'm always jumping between genres to keep things interesting.
What words do you live by? Do you have a personal motto?
I have a personal affirmation that brings me a lot of comfort and encouragement: "I am strong, I am capable, and I am deserving of grace."
What’s next? Do you have anything special that you’ll be focusing on in 2020?
I have two big focuses for 2020. First, personal growth. I was diagnosed with ADHD my senior year of college, so a big part of the next year is building more successful routines for myself, and learning how to better navigate my hyperactive and inattentive symptoms.
Second, I'm done with college! So I'm genuinely excited to have more time for work, writing, and my family. Date nights with my love instead of midterm papers? Games nights with my brothers instead of studying for test? 2020 is gonna be great.
If you could share any advice for aspiring writers, what would it be?
Read and write what you love. There are a lot of opinions on good and bad writing. At the end of the day, you have to find your own balance between learning and growing as a writer, and staying true to your passions and your style.
About the Author
Sian.E.Martin lives in Aurora, Colorado, with her three brothers, her parents, and her fiancé; as well as two finicky cats and two lovable chihuahuas. While living in the city with such a big family keeps her busy, she loves to use her free time to explore nearby historical sites and cemeteries. Other hobbies include gaming, sewing, and of course reading!
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