“I Must Write in Order to Live” by Kayla Dye

“I grew up in northwest Detroit and attended Catholic school. I was the oldest and only girl in a family of six children. Yes, that means I have FIVE brothers,” stated Claudia Whitsitt. The three things that she loved most as a little girl were reading under the covers when she was supposed to be asleep, playing outside with her friends, and building houses with her cut-outs(paper dolls)and Barbies.

Whitsitt planned on being a writer ever since the age of ten. “My best friend and I would lay on her bedroom floor with our packs of loose-leaf paper and write for hours.”

Whitsitt has been writing practically her whole life, but seriously writing for about eight years now. Her first book titled Identity Issues was based on a true story. “The story came to me through a series of real-life events and wouldn’t leave me alone. It was always in the back of my mind.”

When asked what genre was her favorite to write, Whitsitt stated: “I’m not sure which is my favorite genre. It’s like wearing a pair of favorite shoes. When I’m wearing them, I can’t imagine liking any shoes more, then I find another pair and they become my favorite.”

To Whitsitt, “writing is like hunger or thirst. It can’t be denied.” She says that writing is her life and that she “writes to live.” Writing simply leaves her joyful.

Whitsitt is so joyful about writing that she believes everyone should write for at least fifteen minutes each day.

“You come to know yourself better through writing and it can be a valuable tool when sorting out thoughts and feelings. In some cases, a tremendous catharsis(relief of repressed emotions) can take place. Writing is an avenue for discovery, a distracting adventure, a healing drug,” Whitsitt explains.

When asked, “What advice would you give an aspiring author?” Whitsitt answered, “Write every day. Even if you only have fifteen minutes, be sure to jot something down. I find that if I write for a few minutes before I begin the day’s writing, my mind is clearer. It’s as if I clean the cobwebs from my brain and open myself up to going deeper into my character’s lives.”