Write Now with Estani Frizzell

Today’s Write Now interview features Estani Frizzell, music producer and children’s book author of THE UNIQUE BEAK.

Write Now with Estani Frizzell
Photo courtesy of Estani Frizzell

Who Are You?

Hi, my name is Estani Frizzell. I am a vocalist/music producer and now a children’s book author based out of Austin, TX.

What Do You Write?

I’ve been writing songs for as long as I can remember and have now completed my first children’s book. My writing, when writing music, has always gravitated towards a lesson learned, some sort of vindication, realization, or self-empowerment. I don’t do this purposely, although I always notice when I’ve finished a song, how my writing leans toward that thought process.

My start in writing came at a very young age. I’ve always been fascinated by spooky stories and/or stories about underdogs overcoming the odds! I won my first author award in a district-wide writing contest when I was in 2nd grade. I began writing songs as a teen, which eventually became my career. When my daughter was born, I knew I wanted to write a rhyming children’s book accompanied by a musical soundtrack. I love the fact that it’s something she will have for her children someday. I wanted to tie in the best of both worlds: music and storytelling.

Words or themes I try to avoid would have to be political themes or anything that can be construed as such.

I absolutely love what I do!! I feel the best part of being an author/songwriter is knowing someone has connected with your work. Most themes have all been said and done already, but it’s the way in which each writer interprets their ideas that makes it different and unique every time. When a reader identifies with your individual perspective on a subject and buys your book and/or downloads your songs, it’s validation you’re connecting on a deeper level.

Where Do You Write?

My writing environment is always my dining room table while using the basics: pen and paper. I don’t know why it’s always been “weird” for me to type out my thoughts and ideas when writing. I like the idea of being able to cross out ideas, doodle, reflect on what I thought were mistakes, and just being able to kinesthetically make the words I am visualizing. There’s something for me that feels more organic when writing in my notebooks. I would have erased all errors on a computer and would never be able to look back on ideas that could potentially be used for another writing piece.

As far as tools and apps, I love using rhymezone when writing songs or rhyming books, and the basic thesaurus when trying to find a better word rather than one that has been used too many times in the same context.

When Do You Write?

When I decide to write, my head must be clear of any stresses or worries from the day. I don’t make a set time, such as 2-4 pm per se, but I do give myself a timeframe in which to finish, otherwise, it has the potential to become a lingering half-done manuscript. It’s really when I’ve carved out time in my day to focus on just writing. If I know there’s a deadline for an edit or a song that is still unfinished, I can’t always find inspiration right away. I really have to get my space to represent my mental clarity. I like to set realistic deadline goals and make sure anyone/everyone that is on board complies. I don’t necessarily have a word count goal, but a general rule of thumb for me is to find a balance of simplicity and richness. Less is usually more.

Why Do You Write?

I write because it gives me the freedom to express myself in a way that enables me to feel free from myself. When that song or that book is out there, it takes on a life of its own. If there’s something I can’t express to someone face to face or an experience I still must work through, writing helps me break down that wall of fear and brings my insight into another world that is no longer my own. It is much like therapy. I can find ways to let out my joy, happiness, frustration, anger, etc. without holding on to one specific moment in my life. Now that moment is part of another creation that has life. It truly helps me and motivates me to continue writing to find peace and encouragement for myself and hopefully the same for someone else. That’s very inspiring to me.

How Do You Overcome Writer’s Block?

Once I feel like I have writer’s block, it can be difficult for me to get out of it. I had writer’s block once for 4 years! I was working as a 5th/6th grade teacher and raising my daughter as a single mother, so my focus was all over the place. When I know my mind is preoccupied, I now realize I must stop and let it go for a day or two. Meditating has helped immensely. I will also take my dog for a long walk around the nature trails here in Austin. That is great for clearing my head and allowing myself to think about what it is I want to convey in whatever it is that I’m writing. Lastly, there is a book called, The Describer’s Dictionary. I love it! It offers so many examples of how other authors have written on various topics. It’s a wonderful read overall and can really help visualize space, sensory words, timeframes, and scenery. That’s a wonderful tool I like to refer to when I’m having trouble finding what I want to say.

Bonus: What Do You Enjoy Doing When Not Writing?

Singing, of course! I thoroughly enjoy traveling as well!

My thanks to Estani Frizzell for today’s interview.