I’ve heard it said before that a first time writer will sometimes see their own experiences unintentionally coming through in their work, so that it ends up becoming a biography of sorts, or even worse, a journal or emotion dumpster. I guess it was kind of the other way round for me – my first work was too absurd to be real life and in a way, was a form of artistic escapism. Makes sense, since I do spend a good 60% of my day in my own head.

Recently though, I’ve been doing a lot more outpouring as a result of inward analysis. I’ve tried to do it as more of an exploration, rather than a pretentious soul-cleansing that really wouldn’t benefit anyone other than myself. After all, my prime motivation as a writer is to have an audience. My forthcoming poems focus on self-exploration, especially Belemnite Soup, coming out in Inclement over the summer, and a few more on understanding oneself, like in a selection to appear in Sarasvati, over July/August.

As Socrates so aptly put it: the unexamined life is not worth living. Too true!

About Leilanie Stewart

Leilanie Stewart is a novelist and poet. Her debut novel, Gods of Avalon Road was published by Blossom Spring Publishing in October 2019 and her second novel, The Buddha's Bone is forthcoming in October 2021. Leilanie has also published three poetry collections: The Redundancy of Tautology (Cyberwit, 2021); Chemotherapy for the Soul (Fowlpox Press, 2017); A Model Archaeologist (Eyewear Publishing, 2015) and two self-published pamphlets: Toebirds and Woodlice (Meandi Books, 2012); Metamorphosis of Woman (Meandi Books, 2012), satirical novella Zombie Reflux (Meandi Books, 2014) and surreal novelette, Til Death do us Boneapart (Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, 2017). Leilanie is also Editor in Chief of Bindweed Magazine, a poetry and fiction online magazine that also publishes a quarterly print anthology. She currently lives in Belfast with her writer and poet husband, Joseph Robert and their lively literary tot, a voracious reader of educational books. Literary blog: https://leilaniestewart.com/ Meandi Books: http://meandibooks.bigcartel.com/ Bindweed Magazine: https://bindweedmagazine.wordpress.com/

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