Welcome new Writers’ Program instructor Kevin O‘Keefe! Kevin is teaching Writing the Think Piece Tuesday evenings online (Reg# 373713) this Summer and sat down with us to offer some insight into creative life and his upcoming course.
What sparks your creativity?
A great idea. Given a project I don’t believe in, I find myself trudging through and only doing what I must. But if I have a great idea, either on my own or thanks to a prompt from someone else, I simply have to start working, else I’ll burst from excitement.
What do you rely on for those times it’s difficult to find the time, energy, motivation and/or inspiration to write?
Breaks! So many writers try to bust through writers’ blocks through sheer force of will and determination. You are only as good as a writer as you are as a human being, and taking care of yourself is paramount. You’ll be blown away by how what seemed impossible to write the day before becomes so much easier after a good night’s rest, or exercise, or a break for TV, etc.
What’s your favorite book and/or movie?
My favorite movie is Sunset Boulevard. Terrific dialogue, an amazing lead performance from Gloria Swanson, a parable about the price of success in Hollywood, a timeless meditation on how the film industry chews up and spits out women — what more could you want?
Who do you wish you could write like (or: Whose writing discipline do you wish you had)?
Emily Nussbaum, who remains the pinnacle of television criticism for me. Her ability to lend a true critical eye to any type of TV show, be it drama, comedy, reality, or whatever, and treats it with the same level of respect.
What excites you most about teaching for the Writers’ Program?
I’ve always very much enjoyed the relationship between writer and editor, and think the relationship between student and teacher will be much the same in this workshop format.
What do you hope your students get from your course(s)?
My goal is to make students’ writing cleaner, more assured, and ready to be published. I’m very excited to make that happen!
Thank you to Kevin for taking time to share with us. Look for more instructor interviews coming soon!