// Meet Anna Kosmanovski — storyteller, all-round lovely, and defender of the apostrophe. Having been published numerous times, she is a wealth of information when it comes to writing, living with vision, and simply going for it. Here is an interview with, Anna…
Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you became involved in freelance writing?
Hi, my name is Anna and I love writing, creativity, coffee, chocolate, Paris, daydreaming, (as well as night dreaming!) and cats. I would describe myself as both a writer and ‘all round creative’.
I became involved in freelance writing soon after finishing my university degree. I got a job in marketing and, when my contract was up, took time out to write my first novel. It was after that that I had the epiphany – “Hey! I write. And businesses need writing. They need words for their website, newsletter, annual report, media release, brochure, etc. I can do that!” Really, that’s the gist of it! I found as soon as I started to market myself as a professional writer, work started to come in.
What’s been your favourite piece to write so far, and why?
In my freelance writing work, my favourite piece to write was the 2012/2013 Diana Ferrari/Supersoft new season catalogue. I really enjoy writing about fashion, style and of course, pretty shoes!
In my other work, I’ve also really enjoyed writing some short stories too. They’re long enough to lose yourself in but not long enough to go on for ages like a bigger piece of work.
I love how you have listed on your website the vision and values you live by. Why do you think it’s so important to have vision and values?
I think it’s really valuable to be really clear about your vision, as well as values. As an artist, your values help identify your unique selling points – and this will appeal to the right employer/client. It also just saves time – yours and other peoples’ – to be upfront about what you’re comfortable with, if something comes up. I think it’s about just being true to yourself! Really, as writers, we need to have a sharp conscience and be sensitive because we need to pick up on things – sometimes things hard to pick – and communicate them to others.
As for vision – that’s important too! Without a vision which makes you feel sparkly inside, how can we do our best work? A vision is life-giving!! It is something grand, something honest and something you are definitely allowed to keep to yourself – not excepting mum, spouse and cat.
How can a writer write a book unless they have a vision for it? Unless they ‘see’ it and imagine it happening!? We need to believe in our work like a bird believes in building a nest. They don’t doubt that they have what it takes to build it, or stress that it’s not perfect – they just do it and it’s great! We should take a leaf from that bird.
Outside of writing, what else do you love to do to that keeps you refreshed and inspired?
A few things! I find being creative so refreshing and invigorating, and I enjoy just exploring that. I love drawing, painting – furniture, canvasses, jars, frames -, making things like paper flowers and cards for friends, sticking ribbons around things and doing any kind of tactile arts! I also love reading, and intentionally seek to devour books! I have a crazy, lofty goal of reading as many of the classics as I can. I love a good movie too, though! I’m also very into walks… especially in Autumn when it’s so pretty! Love the beach too.
And lastly, I am a café girl! I love catching up with a friend at a café, talking for way too long, and also am quite happy to go on my own too!
For those who are passionate about writing and interested in pursuing it professionally, what gems of wisdom or encouragement would you give them?
Study. Learn about the craft, write, get feedback, get experience, read + repeat.
Read. Stephen King says that if you don’t have time to read then you don’t have time to write and I agree with him. As writers, it’s our food and something irreplaceable which gives us strength to our work…ideas, inspiration and also knowledge.
Hang out with other writers. If you don’t know any, find some! As writing is a solitary process by nature, I’ve found it rejuvenating – and inspiring – to meet other creatives along the way who share a passion and love of writing.
Develop your online presence but don’t put ALL your work up. Save something to be published! Also, don’t spend all your time doing it, either. Also, get a basic understanding of the Adobe Creative Suite, photography skills, video skills too. The funny thing is a 21st century writer now needs to wear a designer’s hat, a marketer’s hat, a bit of a tech hat, etc. Yes, it’s about the words but it’s also about how it looks too… this is what I am learning. So considering that things are only going to become “more digital” in the years to come, if I was an emerging writer today I would be becoming comfortable with these tools and program because marketing is such an important part of what we do.
My last piece of advice and the most important – write, write, write. Aim for everyday! Write about everything and anything. The more you write, the better you will be! There’s this theory that if you do 10,000 hours in your field, you become an expert of sorts. Makes sense to me!
Favourite writer: C.S. Lewis… but I can’t help but mention Dickens too. With non-fiction and journalism writing, I really admire Helen Garner.
Can’t stop listening to: ‘Zion’ by Hillsong United.
Savoury or sweet tooth? Both, unfortunately! Potatoes are my favourite vegetables but chocolate has crept into my life as a “hard to get rid of” companion… trying to reign it in.
Image provided by Anna Kosmanovski