Do you consider Instagram can be a tool for writers branding themselves? If you answer yes or no, it doesn't matter. I found Georgy on Instagram where she shares poems and stories and her drawings. I was mesmerized by the beauty of her posts. She has 240K followers and it made me think, Instagram is becoming a place for readers and writers too but how it works and does it worth the effort to create an Author/Writer page on Instagram? So, I needed to interview this beauty to find my answers.
Hi there Georgy. May I know when did you decide to become a writer/poet? And as a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I never actively decided to become an author, writer, or poet. It was more of an inevitable process, since I was, in fact, making up stories already as a little kiddo. The earliest such instance is what quickly became bedtime routine. I must have been no older than three or four years. While it began with my grandma simply reading or telling me bedtime stories and fairytales, I began wanting to have my own say. I vividly remember lying in bed with my grandma, impatiently waiting my turn to tell stories. In the beginning, I would base them on stories I heard, simply changing the parts I disliked. But not long after I came into this powerful role as bedtime storyteller, I began spawning narratives entirely of my own making, these being either stories I would have liked to hear, scenes I would have liked to live myself, or simply tales with the purpose to surprise and awe my grandmother. This soon became the only way I could fall asleep, continuing to spin my stories in my dreams. When I turned 16, then, for the first time, I decided to write down one of my stories; it turned out to be a fantasy/young adult manuscript that shall never see the light of day again. *wink A few years later, I got onto Instagram, in the hopes of creating an audience and connecting with people through my writing. It was then that I discovered poetry was not dead, not only a tired school curriculum but in full bloom with a modern twist. After a while, I joined that Instagram poetry community. The rest is history, I guess.
Do you only write on Insta, or do you have any books published?
I write a lot outside of Instagram. Not everything leaves my computer, tablet, or phone. I did, however, publish my first poetry collection “Of You and Me” in 2018 which I also entirely illustrated myself. Last year, in 2020, then, I added my second collection, “I love you most.” This too is entirely illustrated by me. I also made the decision to pull my first collection, as I was no longer happy with the art that is on its pages; it was the first time I had ever drawn anything and therefore, the art is quite simple. I have progressed since and wanted that to be reflected. This being said, I want to revamp “Of You and Me” eventually with new art, maybe add some new poems. It is a project I am currently undertaking. Perhaps, we will meet “Of You and Me” again this year. *wink I am not sure yet. In any case, it will be available on Amazon as is “I love you most” right now.
What genre do you prefer to read and write?
There is no one single genre I prefer reading; I will read anything from classics and realism to modern fantasy and science-fiction. The genre I least read is that of non-fiction, amongst which particularly memoirs and autobiographies are not quite my kind of read. My writing reflects exactly that; poetry and all kinds of fiction writing are what constitute my main body of work, most of which are yet to be read by others.
What do you think makes a good story/poem?
Those are two different answers to me and also quite dependent on genre. If I were to give you a detailed answer to what makes a good story or poem, I believe we would be reading a text that could be an entire course. So, I will try to “boil it down” drastically. A good story captivates its reader. A good poem, I believe, is one that resonates with others. The “how” of that now truly is something to be elaborated on in a writing course.
How long does it take you to write?
That really depends on what I write and what mood I am in. There are times I cannot get out a single word.
Do you have any writing routines? What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I have no routines or fixed schedules, but I try to write a bit every day.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your writings?
From everywhere: literature, music, movies, series, people, and life experience, just to name a few.
Are the drawings yours as well? If yes, what inspires you to draw them?
On my Instagram page, some of the art is mine, but a majority currently is from other artists. This is in the process of changing, as I am now beginning to include more of my own art on Instagram. All of the art in my published works is my own. I draw inspiration for the art from the poetry and real couples, real people. Even when picking art from other artists, I always try to choose something that harmonizes with my writing, something that is real, something with which my readers can identify.
Who is your favorite writer? Book? Poet?
Actually, I have no favorite author, writer, or poet. I have pieces of writing I love, each one for its own reasons. Examples for poetry are Derek Walcott’s “Omeros” and the verses told by Homer (I really have a thing for mythology). Examples for novels are Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway” and the “Divergent Series” by Veronica Roth. I really cannot settle for just one. *heart eyes
What does your family think of your writing?
Well…initially, my family was not supportive at all, with the exception of my grandmother. Eventually, gladly, that changed. Now, they are quite encouraging and also like reading my writings.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your stories/poems?
The most surprising thing I discovered is that, personally, the middle of a novel or story is the hardest part to be written.
How did you grow your Instagram followers/readers?
Hard work, a lot – a lot – of trial and error, consistency, much of my heart, and a good bit of stubbornness; Instagram is not always the kindest.
Do you think Instagram can be a good place for writers to brand themselves?
I would definitely say it is a good start to get an audience but most importantly, a community; there are quite a few people I met on the platform that are now good friends.
What is your advice to other writers on how to brand themselves on Instagram?
There really is no one perfect formula. The most important thing, however, is to have a long breath, stubbornness as I have called it in a previous question, because all beginnings are hard, and on Instagram, even the middle can get rough, again and again. One day, everything is wonderful and the very next, it seems as if there is absolutely nothing you could do right. So, to everyone who wants to grow an audience on Instagram, keep in mind it is quite a bit of an eternal rollercoaster ride. As long as you stay true to yourself, it is going to be a great time. Do not let rougher times discourage you!
Do you have any suggestions to help others to become better writers? If so, what are they?
Yes, absolutely. Read a lot! As trivial as it sounds, reading really helps refine your own writing. Reading is so very important. Read as much and as diverse as you can. The other very important thing is to write, even if it is nothing that you would ever want anyone else to read. Practice makes perfect. Writing workshops are also very enriching! If you can, take part in one or as many as you want or can.
To know more about Georgy B. find her on Instagram
@simplygeorgy (poetry and art)
Her books and other resources: https://beacons.ai/simplygeorgy