Microinterview: Greg Sendi

Greg Sendi’s 100 word microfiction, “Intervention”, will appear in the fourth issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 2, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2021). Greg graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.

Greg Sendi

1. What inspired the story “The Intervention”?

As part of my day job, I work with a team of talented mental health professionals, including many whose job is to deploy to the scene of a crisis in progress and provide triage, guidance and care recommendations to the individual in crisis, the family and other emergency workers. These mobile crisis therapists are often (though not always) young women who provide an impressive amount of courage and care under often very difficult circumstances.

2. What inspires you and your writing?

I have to say, I don’t often feel “inspired” in that way that suggests revelation. I start almost every project by noodling around with language or elements of a narrative and creating collisions to see what happens. I will often find that I have tapped in to some back-of-mind connection with an idea I have had before or, often, a story, poem, film or other work of art that I have known. From there it’s a lot of mining for connections, images and language. I believe in the importance of the inevitable intersections and relationships that new writing and art have with the older writing and art that are part of our shared experience.

3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?

I don’t know. The first thing I try to keep in mind about my own misery when it happens is how little of it I have actually experienced compared to others in the world who really suffer and have suffered. In that way, I’m very lucky and privileged. For me, the ability to keep going comes mainly from having a sense of purpose about what you feel you’re meant to do (or are committed to doing) and a sense of the good things in your life that are still undone.

4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?

I am a largely a microfiction novice. I’m better suited to be a consumer of advice than a giver. In general, when it comes to writing, I’m a believer in the importance of persistence. It can be difficult to keep going when you have doubts about your abilities or the worth of what you have to say. I think it may be analogous to that extreme discomfort associated for so many of us with hearing one’s own voice on a recording. What comes out can just feel ugly sometimes. Getting past that sort of “dysmorphia” and continuing to write consistently is the most important thing. Then the second most important thing is to be a ruthless editor of your own work, which involves an entirely different set of abilities than the first thing.

5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?

I’m always glad to hear from anyone who may be interested in something I’ve done. I especially like to hear opinions about where I went wrong or could have done better. (I really do.) I hope readers will feel free to reach out.

Greg Sendi: A Chicago writer and former fiction editor at Chicago Review. Career has included broadcast and trade journalism as well as poetry and fiction. Twitter: @gsendi. Website: gsendi.com.


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