This summer Andrew Ewell is teaching Writing is Rewriting, a workshop designed to students through the sometimes intimidating but always rewarding process of revision.
WriterHouse: Is there a particular book or essay that made you want to write?
Andrew: I don't know if there's a particular book that made me want to write, but there are several I return to when I need a little inspiration. Almost anything by Nabokov would fit into this category, Speak, Memory and Lolita in particular. Nabokov's prose engages you in a way that would make almost any reader want to write. I can't get through the "Mademoiselle O" chapter of Speak, Memory without thinking, "I want to do that!"
WriterHouse: What's the number one thing that distracts you when you're trying to write?
Andrew: Myself! Whether it's checking email, reading wine reviews online or checking bank statements, the distraction is ultimately me. This, I suppose, is one reason I like to write in a lot of different places — home office, front porch, library, coffee shop, etc. The change of scenery helps me lose myself a little and focus on the writing, and nothing else.
WriterHouse: If you could write from any location, where would it be?
Andrew: I do like to write in a lot of different places, but I also love to have a home base. Put water there, and I'm happy. Make it the Chesapeake Bay, and it's all the better. There's just something about watching the seasons change over the Chesapeake that I find thrilling.