Friday, April 5, 2013

Victoria Fann - a Writer from California

                         Soaring to Success
           Interviews of Artists, Writers and Photographers
                   Their work, creative spaces and techniques

                    I am thrilled to present an inspiring writer this week:
                                        Victoria Fann

Dream. Follow Your Heart. Grow. Leap into the Unknown. Explore. Expand Your Horizons. Learn. Meet New Friends. Create. Walk Your Talk.

1. Introduce yourself.  Name, City, State, Country  .. and describe what you do, what’s your passion?  

My name is Victoria Fann. 

I’m currently staying in a community household in Castroville, CA. I’m a free-spirited writer, mystic and community builder and on January 1st, I took the leap of following my heart and traveling into the unknown. I got rid of almost all of my possessions, packed up my gently used car and hit the road with no destination, no agenda and no real plan except to reconnect with myself, meet new people, write my heart out and build and outrageously successful online business! I plan to travel indefinitely, using my intuition as my guide. My passion is writing and currently, I’m working on a play and a couple of screenplays.
Victoria at Nepenthe
From her Website:
I'm an on-the-ground street mystic and soul guide. I'm an alchemist and creative guide who stirs up the sleeping genius within. I'm an advocate for authenticity and a nurturer of vulnerability. I'm passionate about freedom and truth and community. I LOVE hosting gatherings and creating circles where people can explore, grow, express themselves creatively and connect! Life is a beautiful, magical journey and I'm grateful to be a part of the dance and in service to people and planet in whatever way I can. There is nothing too good to be true. In fact, we haven't even scratched the surface of what's possible and that excites me each and every day. 

2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? 

I fell in love with words as a young child when I lost myself in the world of books. I was swept away into worlds beyond my own and I wanted to create those worlds myself. I loved how amazing it felt to evoke a feeling and a state of being with words and also to convey a message that another could receive and understand. My excitement with writing plays and screenplays is the possibility of seeing my words transformed into a performance onstage and on screen. Nothing would be more exciting than that to me! A dream come true!

3. What are your fears?  How have you faced them?  Or your plans of how you plan to tackle your fears.

Years ago, I used to be afraid of rejection, but quickly got over that when an essay I wrote got published by Newsweek and I saw how random the publishing process can be. I had submitted essays to Newsweek for a couple of years “trying” to get published and collected a bunch of rejection letters. Then one day, I was sitting at my desk and I thought, why not give it another try. I found a five-year-old piece I’d written about having to settle my father’s estate when I was only twenty-one and I popped it onto the fax machine, hit send and forgot about it. Six days later, I got a call from an editor at Newsweek saying they wanted to publish my essay! They send a photographer out and did a photo shoot of me at my desk and several weeks later my essay appeared in a national magazine! It was such a fluke and so random. The essay I sent was in a file on my computer and was written years before. I didn’t change or edit it before I sent it and they loved it! It made me realized that I should never take people’s opinions about my work personally. Because sometimes it’s the wrong day or time. So many famous authors have face lots of rejection before getting their work out there. The other thing I learn was how important it is to not be attached to the result of our efforts and to not have expectations. Better to simply be in love with the work (which I am) and never compromise your own voice to please your audience. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t listen to feedback or suggestions. But we need to stay true to ourselves first and see if other’s feedback resonates before we take it in. The best was to tackle fear and insecurity is to keep writing no matter what…. eventually you’ll get so good that your fears will disappear.

Great advice, Victoria...and you can word the advice better than anyone! That darn rejection can make a confident person stop trying, thank you for that inspiring answer! It works the same for writers, artists...and just about everyone!!!   

4. What makes you different…unique from others?
My writing is heavily infused with the deep immersion I’ve had in the area of consciousness, mysticism, psychology and philosophy. I’ve been obsessed with life’s big questions since I was very young and my curiosity and intense fascination with human consciousness only continues to grow stronger as I get older. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to meet and study with some of the world’s most innovative thinkers and teachers and I’ve also cultivated a daily meditation and prayer practice that has allowed me to tune into my Muse and this connection guides all of the writing I do. I don’t think about what I’m writing about. I simply connect with my Muse, get out of the way and let the words flow onto the page. This is the same way I live my life. I don’t think about what I’m going to do in a give day. I tune into my Higher Self, get out of the way and let my intuition (Higher Self) guide me.
I also LOVE supporting other writers. I started my first writers group in 1989 in Minneapolis where I was living at the time. My life was overwhelming and busy with working and parenting and I was feeling very alone as a writer.

  Minneapolis has a wonderful writing community and the focal point is a writers organization called The Loft. I put an ad in their monthly newsletter and called my group Mothers Who Write. Within a few days of the ad appearing, I received over 40 phone calls from women who were thrilled I was starting this group! This group changed my life and showed me the magic that happens when a group of creative women get together! This wonderful group lasted a year and then I moved to NJ where I started another one. That group evolved into 10 groups and the name changed to Women Who Write. I was hooked! Running groups inspired me to start teaching and that evolved into coaching and many other beautiful creative projects.

I wrote a blog from 2006 -2009 called Blessed Madness  (the name was inspired by a line I read in a Rumi poem) that I plan to publish soon, first as an e-book and then as a print book. This blog was a container for me to express myself during the time my marriage was unraveling and I was ripening spiritually. Mostly, it was a place to share the many downloads of insights and wisdom that were flowing into me during that period of my life.

We must care for ourselves by nurturing and nourishing our bodies, training and stilling the mind, clearing and processing our emotions and honoring and aligning spiritually with our Higher Self.

5. Any secrets to reveal about the tools you use or your techniques?  Tips or tricks?   What makes your stories special? Are your supplies unusual?  Do you paint you own mixed media collage papers?  If you’re a writer, are your stories historical, ghost stories? Do you have a lucky charm, maybe a lucky shirt you paint in, an inspirational poster or quote, or a special something that helps you to think positive?   
My big breakthrough as a writer happened several years ago when I bought my first laptop, a cute little white iBook. This allowed me to move from writing in my home to writing in cafes. I was fortunate because at that time, there was a café run by a couple of Turkish artists and screenwriters across the street from where I lived that was always full of writers, artists, musicians and other creative types, so I was able to get over my shyness at writing this way very quickly. In fact, when one of the owners of the café found out that I was working on a memoir, he suggested that I write a screenplay instead. Because of his encouragement I wrote the entire first draft of my first full-length screenplay, all written in this little café surrounded by creative people who supported me while I worked.
Ginger Peach Tea

I rarely write at home now, preferring the café environment surrounded by other people working on projects and enjoying a nice latte or cup of fresh-brewed tea. My Muse flows better in that environment, especially because I’m less likely to get distracted. I usually wear headphones and the music creates a cocoon and a vibration in and through me that really opens the creative flow. I truly believe honoring our Muse and finding the right environment makes a huge difference in one’s productivity and the quality of the work.

Mr. Toots Coffeehouse - Capitola, CA

Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering its a feather bed.
                                                                                                             — Terence McKenna

6. What are your goals and inspirations?  Where will you hope to be in 2 years?  5 years?  10 years?

My dream is to be writing and being of service to humanity in whatever way I can. I have dedicated my life to serving others and writing is only one way of doing that. I also enjoy running groups and building community so that will be a big part of my life as well. I see a great longing for community in the world and a need to combine resources and live more cooperatively. We can no longer continue the old consumer, money-based lifestyle. Instead, I see us moving more toward a right-brained, heart-centered, sharing lifestyle organized more around tribes and kindred spirits rather than traditional nuclear families. As Seth Godin says I believe art can save the world. Creativity, not rational logic, is what is needed. I also see the divine feminine rising to bring the overly masculine way of doing things more into balance.

Victoria Fann
7. Where is your creative space or studio? 
My creative space is any warm and welcoming café that has good vibes friendly baristas, delicious coffee (preferably fair trade and organic), a good tea selection and wifi!  I write on my laptop which means I can write anywhere. I love the freedom this gives me! I café hop to keep it interesting, so my environment changes regularly.

8.How much time do you devote to your work?  Is it at same time everyday? Or do you wait until you are in a creative mood?

I typically like to write a minimum of a thousand words a day. I will sometimes establish a routine to do this in the morning, but now that I’m traveling, it’s been more spontaneous. I love writing so I don’t have to wait for inspiration. It’s more the opposite with me. I have SO MANY ideas and words that I want to express and share, that my issue is not feeling as though I ever have enough time to capture them all and get them down. I sometimes feel as though these creative ideas and stories are all lined up, impatiently tapping their feet and rolling their eyes, just waiting for me to sit down and open the floodgates so that they flow out into the world.

The real juice of life bubbles up from within like a spring of fresh, unadulterated water flowing directly from Source, energizing and refreshing its recipient.”               — VF

9. What are your “whispers” or callings begging you to do?    

My whispers are always calling me to get my work on the stage or the screen so that people can experience my work off the page, so that instead of being a private experience between me and a reader, it can be a dynamic experience shared by a group of people. That would be absolute bliss to me! I live for the day I will see my words spoken and performed and experienced by others.
The other loud whisper is asking me to guide others to express themselves authentically. I call it “doing who you are”. Each of us is born with a specific set of gifts and the highest joy comes from sharing those gifts with others. One of my greatest sources of joy is helping others to share those gifts fully and authentically. So many people betray themselves and the world by withholding their gifts, due to fear, self-doubt or feeling that they need to survive and make money doing something they hate. This crushes the soul and leads to illness and depression. Often all it takes to undo that betrayal is having at least one person believe in you. I LOVE being that person in someone’s life because it is a profoundly beautiful experience to see someone break out of the shell of limitation and fly!

Human beings, if not interfered with, are capable of genius level creation, which could easily account for all of our needs in harmony with our environment and each other.
                                                                                                                                     — VF

10. Do you keep a daily journal or write in a diary?   
I mostly write on my computer, but I will occasionally write in a small journal when I want to take a break from all things electronic.  It’s an entirely different experience writing by hand and it’s good to stir up that part of my brain once in a while.

Victoria's son Miles age 18
11. How do you market yourself? How do you plan to get “the word” out there??  

I just launched a brand new  website and blog so I’m in the process now of getting the word out now. Ideally, I’d like to find a marketing guru and social media maven to help me. I’m no longer a proponent of doing everything myself. I prefer to let others who are good at what they do help me so that I can have time to do what I love. Going back and forth between writing creatively and marketing my work breaks the creative flow and makes me feel frantic. I learned when I got help with my branding and my website that I do much better work when I’m surrounded by a community of people who are invested in my work. The beauty of it is that it’s reciprocal. I invest equally in the well-being and work of everyone who supports me. This is what community is all about and why I’m so passionate about building community wherever I go.

As an over the top creative thinker, I have found Victoria’s wisdom and guidance indispensable. Her assistance and big picture vision have been paramount in aiding me to organize my creativity into a productive work structure. With her continued support, I am able to push through blocks and other challenges while stepping ever forward to building the life I envision for myself.
                                                                                                                     — Lezlie Wolff

12. What type of music (if any) do you listen to when you create?

I love to stream different radio stations on Pandora and on When I’m writing, I listen to lots of instrumental music so that I’m not distracted by lyrics. Trip hop, ambient and baroque classical music are among my favorites.

13. Who is your favorite author? …  In other words, who do you admire, and look up to?

Wow, there are way too many to name them all. The list would be pages long. Each book I’ve read along the way has planted a seed, which has grown and touched my own writing. The best writers are voracious readers who are sad that they won’t have enough time to read all the books they want to read. The writers I admire most are the courageous ones who take risks with their writing, who blow you away because they were willing to be real and raw and vulnerable. Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou and Dorothy Allison come to mind. Non-compromising writers such as David Eggers, Milan Kundera, Paulo Coelho all find ways to break the mold of traditional writing and storytelling. I also love the poetry by Rumi, Hafiz and Kabir because their words vibrate my soul stir my heart awake.
The writer's son Julian age 29

14. Are you encouraged to follow your creative path by your family or friends?

My family has always been supportive. My older son, Julian, has been one of my biggest fans and he always makes himself available to support with my creative projects.

15. How do come up with titles for your work…whether it be paintings, short stories, a novel, or other artwork?
I will sometimes look at the titles of poems by Hafiz and Rumi for inspiration. I named one of my blogs Blessed Madness based on a line of poetry by Rumi.  The name for my current blog was inspired by a book, Caravan of Dreams, by Indries Shah, an Iranian writer who brought Sufism to the west
Other than that, titles are just given to me by my Muse. They sometimes come at the most random times when I’m not even thinking about it. I never force anything in the creative process. If it’s not flowing, I put it aside and come back to it when I’m in a more fluid state. With titles, they usually just appear when I need them.

Victoria reflecting...

16. Do you work on one project at a time ..or have several going on at a time?

I have several going at one time. It’s just the nature of the way things are unfolding for me now. It also keeps it interesting and fresh for me to engage with different projects. Writing makes everything worthwhile for me!

Life is a powerful teacher if only we listen to its guidance. Every day it sends us messages through people, books, music, circumstances, dreams, emails, phone calls, etc. and it is up to us to slow down enough to listen and follow the guidance we receive.
                                                                                                                          — Victoria Fann

You know what they say, "you find what you need when you're ready to receive it".... or "you will hear the advice when you are ready to listen"!  That's how you make me feel when I read your written words!!!!  Your advice resonated with me.

 These interviews allow me to get to know the artist/ writers/ creative souls --what they believe, what stirs their passion, gain knowledge from their beliefs and insight.  Victoria, you have so much to share...I loved doing your interview and with doing so, enjoyed your web-site and blog.  Your beliefs are so inspiring.. I feel the need to read more! I am definitely a "fan" (no pun intended, Victoria Fann!!).  I feel it in my heart that you will be very famous one day...Newsweek was just the beginning...they realized that they found a good thing...a very talented writer! 
I am sending you blessings with much success and happiness.  
You are a writer soaring like the wind!  
Soaring to Success!!!!     
Thank you for participating in the interview series!                           

** If you would like to be featured on Making Waves, please contact me and leave your email letting me know that yo would like me to send you the interview questions. 

  I owned an art school in Charlotte, NC for 18 years before moving to Jacksonville, FL., so it  thrills me when a classroom full of students, given one assignment, produces such a variety of ideas. …We are all unique, we are all special.  We all have a different path, a different way of approaching our art. That is exactly why I want to do these interviews, to celebrate what makes us, US!      Thank you for participating : )               
                                                                            Joan Carver       



Indigene Theresa said...

What a wonderful interview! Victoria, you're a wonderful writer and it's wonderful to find out more from the woman behind the computer!

Victoria Fann said...

Thanks Indigene for reading and for commenting! I certainly do spend a bunch of time on the computer, but I also love my time offline taking walks in nature, doing yoga, taking photos, etc. It's all about balance now :-)

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