Meet the Writer: Sophia Sturges

I want to thank Sophia, another TOO MUCH contributor, for answering my questions!

What kinds of writing do you do?

I’m mostly a technical writer.  I write technical blogs explaining Web development processes and instructions for end users, so they can manage Web sites themselves.  I use my more creative side in songwriting.

What kinds of writing do you wish you did more of?

I have an idea for a movie script or novel that I would like to write someday. I would love more time to write song lyrics.

In what ways has academia shaped the way you think about writing?

Academia has helped me to understand the idea of drafts. It used to take me longer to write because every thought I wanted to communicate had to be edited or perfected during the creation phase.  Now I understand that writing is a process with multiple steps and drafts… I just let it flow, and then I really start to work the ideas and try to connect them afterwards.  I also use fewer words.  Writing so many papers for school helped me to understand the power of scope, having a point, and sticking to it.  I choose words more carefully now.

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In what ways has life outside of academia shaped your writing?

I observe everything around me. This is a really hard question for me to answer without writing a novel… I have so many influences, but at the center of it all is the philosophy that I should be honest. This tends to keep me away from writing fiction. I love writers like Chuck Klosterman and Charles Bukowski for their honesty. Being a mother and musician, working in retail/customer service for half my life, going through divorce, going back to college as an older adult, meeting the love of my life–all of these things have shaped who I am today, and these experiences definitely shape my writing.

What was the first piece of writing you did that you remember being happy with?

I wrote a poem in high school, called “Insane.”  I don’t really remember much about it, except that I wrote from the perspective of someone having crazy thoughts.  I felt satisfied.  That poem was included in an Honors English anthology for the year.  It’s in a yearbook somewhere.

What happens when you’re not happy with your writing?

I tend to stop writing and put the piece aside.  I save all my bits of writing in the hopes that I can eventually finish my ideas when they’re done marinating in the back of my head.  Sometimes I combine them to create something I wasn’t expecting later on, when the ideas make more sense.  Sometimes I decide the ideas are garbage and throw them out too.

Could you tell us a bit about your contribution to the TOO MUCH anthology?

I was trying to think of themes where the words “too much” had relevance in my life.  I felt like I had a story to tell about the downward spiral of a relationship, losing my identity, and feeling overwhelmed.  It was probably the unhappiest time in my life, but I definitely learned from the process.

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