The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.
Donna Laemmlen has taught storytelling and screenwriting at the Academy of Art University for the past ten years, and she's been a creative story analyst for even longer. An adaptation of her short story "Fay" is set to start shooting this fall. Her flash fiction just won the 2013 Able Muse Write Prize in Fiction and will appear in its Winter 2014 issue. A graduate of the MFA in Writing program at USF, she lives and writes in San Francisco.
When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?
These days, I say I'm a writer first, and then a teacher. It used to be the other way around, and before that, I would just say teacher. I think a lot of people view a writer's life as being reckless, with a negative connotation, so it's taken a while for me to admit that's exactly what I am. You have to be willing to crash and burn and not worry about the inevitable follow-up questions. The trick is learning to do it proudly.
What's your biggest struggle, work or otherwise?
Learning to live a balanced life. There's a never-ending need for more -- more pages to generate, more patience with the writing process, more confidence in your voice, more to read and more to study. As my mother, who was a teacher, used to say, "Being a writer means having homework for the rest of your life."More »