SARA WINTZ has worked since she was a teenager in suburban New Jersey. Chronologically, as a floral arranger, a record store clerk, a gallery assistant, an editorial assistant, a barista, a museum docent, a communications assistant, a freelance theater and performance writer, a social media researcher, a writing tutor, and a writing instructor for college-level art and design students. She's the author of WALKING ACROSS A FIELD WE ARE FOCUSED ON AT THIS TIME NOW (forthcoming from Ugly Duckling Presse) and works as a Contributing Editor for UDP's annual performance art sourcebook, Emergency Index.
Most of the time I just cut to the chase and say that I’m a writer.
My personality gives it away. I sit with words and sentences for the majority of my time.
How could it not have an impact on the way that I speak/respond to the world?
Sometimes I sit with words on my computer screen or on a piece of paper and sometimes I sit alone on the train nervously while I think about words while using words to think or maybe like, talk to myself, in my head while preparing to do some writing. Sometimes I sit (stand?) with the words that I write on the whiteboard in my classroom, where I teach students how to write while I think about words and writing.
I think of the labor that I perform as a writer more as my occupation, than my job. It has more to do with an activity or possession, than something that I am expected or obligated to do. I write all the time. It’s what I like to do.
Most of the time, I don’t get paid to write. I dislike this. But, at the same time, I wonder how my writing would change if I relied on my writing as my primary source of income. If I relied on my writing as my primary source of income, I would have to produce work on a regular basis that could be rendered immediately desirable. I would most likely have to produce texts concerned with the idea of being “on trend” as opposed to the idea of doing whatever, something “innovative.”
I’m glad that I can teach writing to students. I feel proud. I wish that my employer paid more money to teachers so that I could teach less classes and focus more on each one of my students as individuals. I like to write and I think that it’s important to be a good writer.