An Interview with Poet Christy Birmingham

27 Sep


I told you I was going to try and post one blog per week and by golly, so far I’m doing it.  Coincidentally, I’m busier than I’ve ever been, but I’m determined to get this blog out once a week and, well, here I am again, invading your privacy and demanding attention, like that obnoxious little kid at school who wouldn’t leave you alone, him in 2nd grade, you in 5th, and all you want to do is play soccer with your friends, but the little kid keeps tugging on your pants, demanding you play with him….sheez…leave me alone, kid, you scream, but it does no good and here he is again….

I think we better move on to a quote so I can catch my breath….and after the quote, we have a new interview with one of my favorite online friends and a dandy poet, Christy Birmingham.


“In skating there’s always another jump or another spin variation or another thing to learn, and that’s what I liked about it.” Gracie Gold

Never be afraid to try new things as a writer, not only in your writing, but also in your marketing.  Who knows, right?


I know, I know, I’m no poet, but that doesn’t mean I can’t toss around a few things I hear about.

How many of you poets have heard of Dodoitsu?  Well I hadn’t heard of it at all, but now I know what it is, and I’m passing it along.

Dodoitsu is a Japanese poetic form where the focus is on syllables instead of rhyme or meter.  Dodoitsu is a four-line poem which has seven syllables in each of the first three lines, and five syllables in the final line.  Traditionally, the Dodoitsu focuses on work or love, and it usually has a humorous twist to it.

Try it!  You just might like it.  Just don’t expect me to do so.


For those of you uninspired by the current choices of writing sites, stop on by HitRecord and see what’s happening there.  I have a couple projects there, tossing out the chum, so to speak, and so far I love their set-up.

The site is promoted and was started by actor and director Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and I love the structure of it.  It is a collaborative site where you can download some work of yours and then others jump onto the project and can add to it…..and if that project attracts backers or editors or publishers, then you share in the rewards.

Take a look at it. I think you’ll find it interesting and unlike any other writing site you’ve belonged to.

Are there monthly payouts there? No, but the possibility of a big payout, if a project is purchased, is enough to make me want to stay there….plus, and I can’t emphasize this enough…it is added exposure for your talents, and that is always a good thing.

I really like this new site and I give them FIVE STARS!!!!!


And now I’m pleased to share an interview with you, this one with a very talented poet, Christy Birmingham.

Christy and I are HP veterans, but I like to think we are so much more. Christy hails from one of the prettiest cities in North America, Victoria, British Columbia.  What I can tell you about Christy can be summed up very quickly:  she not only has gobs of talent, but she is also one of the nicest human beings you will ever meet online.  I strongly encourage you to “friend” Christy and get to know her.  She will, in the end, make you feel better about life.

And now, here I give you, Christy Birmingham!

Hi Bill,


Thank you for patiently waiting while I wrote the answers 🙂


It is wonderful to think I will be part of your interview series!



1)      What is your main motivation for writing?  Put another way, what do you hope to accomplish with your writing?


My motivation to write comes from  my love of words. It’s as simple as that. Words fascinate me; I love the look and sound of them, and, even more than that, I adore how they convey emotions in readers.


Whether I am writing an article for a company or a poem for myself, I enjoy how the writing process evolves from my thoughts to the written result and how the finished work can influence a reader. I take immense pride in what I craft and use these creations to motivate me in the next project.



2)      What are your thoughts regarding the marketing of your writing? christy-2


Ah, marketing. I have read countless articles on strategies for authors to use to sell their books. For my two books, I have stuck to a fairly straightforward strategy.

I share what the books are about and put that message in front of eyes that I think will appreciate it. I mean, not everyone will want to read my poetry, so I’m not going to market my books to everyone on Earth. Instead, I’m going to reach out to people who have told me they like my writing or who seem open to poetry.


Let me put it another way: why market a steak to a vegetarian? It would be a waste of energy and other resources, honestly. The same is true of marketing poetry to a person who has no interest in even looking at my promotional post about the book online.


Note from Bill:  I love that line, “why market a steak to a vegetarian.”  Great line, Christy!



3)      What words of advice would you give to someone just starting out in this business?


I would tell this newcomer to treat writing as a business. It has many fun points but ultimately if you want to succeed at being a full-time writer, you have to treat it like a job. Work set hours, if you can, and be prepared for deadlines. If you want to take an afternoon off, so be it, but then you have to make up the time at some other point in the week, just like with an office job.


Also, set breaks for yourself just like you would for a 9-5 job. Yes, I call them my “breaks”; I take them in periods of 15 minutes (coffee breaks) and one hour (lunch break) each workday. I used to try to work nonstop at the start of this career and got burned out. Now I make myself take breaks and return to the computer mentally refreshed. In the end, surprisingly, I am more effective when I take breaks than when I do not do so. I assume most people are this way too.



4)      How do you juggle your personal life with your life as a writer?


This question has long plagued me, and there are still weeks when I struggle with maintaining balance. I recognize that social time is necessary, which I never used to understand. I often worked long days and then watched an hour of TV before going to bed. Now I understand it is important to have friends and maintain connections with my parents. By taking social time, I find I am happier overall than when I work endlessly (even with those 15-minute and 1-hour breaks I mentioned earlier).


I also make sure I exercise regularly as a way to lower my stress and feel better about my body. For one of my 15-minute breaks today, for example, I went for a brisk walk around the neighborhood. I’m not talking about a hardcore fitness regime. Instead, I urge writers to stay healthy and be active, especially given that much of our work is done while sitting down at a computer.


Thank you, Bill, for having me over for a visit today! It was great to take stock of my journey as well as to remind myself about keeping balance in my days. I welcome further opportunities to connect with writers and readers via my blog Poetic Parfait, as well as on Twitter. My latest book is Versions of the Self, a collection of poems that reveal the world as a series of selves, including the singular “I” and romantic connections. Let’s keep cheering on one another!






I have never shied away from the truth.  Several times in the past I have mentioned that there is good news and bad news in the revolution of ebooks. The good news is now anyone can write and publish a book.  The bad news is now anyone can write and publish a book.  LOL  I am being brutally honest when I tell you there are a lot of really bad indie books out there….bordering on junky….and because of that proliferation, many readers are gun shy about buying a book from an indie writer.


Having said all that, take me at my word, Christy is a good one.  Her new book is excellent…her poetry is beautiful…and I would never hesitate to recommend it for purchase if you are at all inclined towards reading poetry.


Thank you so much, Christy, for doing this for me…for all of us….you are a quality human being and that, my friend, is my highest praise.




Keep in mind Christy’s advice.  Treat writing like a job, and remember those breaks during the day…..the world needs great writers, so set your sights higher than you once did, and soar!!!!!!!  And if you’ve got nothing better to do, stop by the Mailbag for questions and answers about writing.




“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”



68 Responses to “An Interview with Poet Christy Birmingham”

  1. Janine Huldie September 27, 2016 at 2:15 pm #

    Aw, so happy to see Christy here today and seriously enjoyed reading her answers to your questions, as well as relate a bit, too! Happy Tuesday to you both now!! 🙂

    • Billybuc September 27, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

      Janine, I had no doubt you would be the first one here this morning. You are a treasure. Thank you dear friend and Happy Tuesday to you as well.

    • Christy B September 27, 2016 at 9:28 pm #

      Thank you, Janine! It was a treat to be here and I really enjoyed the interview with Bill. Wishing you a great rest of your day and thanks again for the support ♥

  2. Christy B September 27, 2016 at 9:29 pm #

    Thank you Bill for having me to the site today! It was such a pleasure to chat with you. Your words about me reached my heart ♥ I think you are doing great things at this site and helping a lot of aspiring writers! Hugs

    • Billybuc September 27, 2016 at 10:18 pm #

      Christy, you are one of the “good people,” and I’m always happy to be in touch with you.

  3. Christy B September 27, 2016 at 9:33 pm #

    Reblogged this on Poetic Parfait and commented:
    When I was asked by writer Bill Holland to stop by his blog “Artistry with Words” for an interview, I accepted the invite with a smile. After all, it’s not every day that I get asked to be on such a quality blog. Here is the interview on writing techniques, poetry, and balancing work with personal life. Thanks for taking time to read it! ~Christy

  4. anisioluiz2008 September 27, 2016 at 10:17 pm #

    Reblogged this on O LADO ESCURO DA LUA.

  5. irinadim September 27, 2016 at 11:57 pm #

    Great post, Bill, and great interview. I love Christy’s poetry and I agree with you about her loyalty and cheerful disposition. Cheers 🙂 Irina

    • Billybuc September 28, 2016 at 1:43 pm #

      Thanks so much, irinadim! You are appreciated.

      • irinadim September 29, 2016 at 3:59 am #

        My pleasure, Bill.

  6. Raymond Alexander Kukkee September 28, 2016 at 12:35 am #

    Great interview, you two! I’ve always admired Christyb’s poetry–the dedicated poet with a unique poetic voice AND a permanent style as well as her always-lovely smile. Christyb rocks!

    • Billybuc September 28, 2016 at 1:42 pm #

      I totally agree, Raymond, and Christy definitely is a unique voice. Thank you!

  7. explorereikiworld September 28, 2016 at 12:56 am #

    Christy is a fine poet, and I have enjoyed reading her from time to time!

    You have a fine line of writers out there, Bill

    Keep it coming!

    • Billybuc September 28, 2016 at 1:42 pm #

      I will for sure, explore, and I thank you for taking the time to visit.

  8. froggy213 September 28, 2016 at 2:23 am #

    Another great post. Thanks for sharing this with us Bill.

    • Billybuc September 28, 2016 at 1:41 pm #

      You’re next, Greg, so stay tuned for next Tuesday. Thanks for being here.

  9. syl65 September 28, 2016 at 3:33 am #

    Really nice interview with one of my favorite poets and people. Always inspiring!

    • Billybuc September 28, 2016 at 1:41 pm #

      Mine too, syl65, so thank you!

      • syl65 September 28, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

        You’re welcome!

  10. ghostwritingplus September 28, 2016 at 5:35 am #

    Wonderful, insightful interview, love it!

    • Billybuc September 28, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

      Thank you so much, ghostwritingplus!

  11. Bun Karyudo September 28, 2016 at 9:51 am #

    Great interview. I enjoy reading Christy’s blog, so it was interesting to read a little more about her thoughts on writing and marketing. I was liked her point about taking breaks. I’m only a blogger, not a writer or poet, but one problem I find when trying to write posts is my breaks tend to expand! It can sometimes be a very long 15 minutes.

    • Billybuc September 28, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

      Bun, I still, after six years of writing full-time, don’t trust myself on breaks. LOL Thanks for being here.

      • Bun Karyudo September 28, 2016 at 3:45 pm #

        You’re welcome. I enjoyed the post. 🙂

  12. shehannemoore September 28, 2016 at 11:30 am #

    Christy, my special lady, great interview. (BTO the dudes think it is almost as good as theirs which is saying something.) Seriously lovely to see you out there today xx

    • Billybuc September 28, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

      Thank you Shehannemoore….I appreciate you stopping by.

  13. Sue Dreamwalker September 28, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

    Wonderful Interview Bill with one of my favourite friends.. 🙂 Loved learning more of Christy’s thoughts here… Many thanks for sharing Sue

    • Billybuc September 28, 2016 at 7:24 pm #

      Thank you Sue! I appreciate you stopping by.

      • Sue Dreamwalker September 29, 2016 at 7:11 pm #

        Many thanks Bill, You have a great blog site too 🙂

  14. Ka Malana - September 28, 2016 at 9:24 pm #

    Nice to meet you! What a great choice in choosing Christy for an interview 🙂

    • Billybuc September 28, 2016 at 9:27 pm #

      And it’s nice to meet you Ka Malana…thank you for stopping by. I agree with you about Christy!

  15. Dee September 28, 2016 at 9:52 pm #

    Christy is such a sweet person and her writing is excellent. I could see her personality through her interview responses, always upbeat and engaging. Thanks for the tips today, Bill.

    • Billybuc September 28, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

      I totally agree with you, Dee. Thank you for that kind remark….I’ll pass it along to Christy!

  16. Resa September 28, 2016 at 11:56 pm #

    I enjoyed the interview!

    • Billybuc September 29, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

      I’m very happy to hear that, Resa!

  17. Audrey Howitt September 29, 2016 at 6:07 pm #

    Aww–this is such a great interview Bill! Christy, you are an inspiration!

    • Billybuc September 29, 2016 at 6:20 pm #

      I totally agree with you, Audrey, about Christy! Thank you!

  18. Jeri Walker (@JeriWB) September 29, 2016 at 9:46 pm #

    It’s great to see Christy here. I think many of us struggle with finding a good work/life balance, but especially those who freelance. It’s hard to keep home and work separate when you work at home. I agree though at what Christy’s points out about taking breaks. There are nights I want to work an hour or two more, but know a good night’s sleep will make the work go much better when my mind and eyes are fresh.

    • Billybuc September 29, 2016 at 11:41 pm #

      Thank you, Jeri, and you are correct about a good night’s sleep. It makes all the difference for me.

  19. Jacqui Murray September 29, 2016 at 9:47 pm #

    Good interview, Bill. thoroughly enjoyed it.

    • Billybuc September 29, 2016 at 11:42 pm #

      Thank you very much, Jacqui!

  20. milliethom September 29, 2016 at 9:52 pm #

    A really enjoyable interview. Christy is a wonderful poet and her workmanlike approach to her writing does her credit. Some great advice for writers of all genre. Thank you, Bill – and thank you, Christy.

    • Billybuc September 29, 2016 at 11:42 pm #

      We are in total agreement, Millie…thank you!

  21. Tricia Drammeh September 30, 2016 at 11:05 am #

    Reblogged this on Authors to Watch and commented:
    A wonderful interview with Poet Christy Birmingham!

    • Billybuc September 30, 2016 at 1:31 pm #

      Thank you very much, Tricia, for reblogging the interview. Christy deserves tons of exposure.

  22. Sarah Potter Writes September 30, 2016 at 2:23 pm #

    Great to see the wonderful talented Christy here and to meet you, Billy. That’s a fab interview, and such wise words from Christy about maintaining a life balance. I’ve never heard of Dodoitsu poetry but might have a go writing some, as I already love writing haiku and tanka. Have just checked out the busy and vibrant and love its innovative approach. Thanks for the link.

  23. Dalo 2013 October 3, 2016 at 3:10 am #

    Christy and her works have been one of the great finds in the blogosphere, so to learn a bit more about her in this interview is fantastic. Very well done.

    • Billybuc October 3, 2016 at 1:37 pm #

      I completely agree, Dalo! Thank you!

  24. macjam47 October 3, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

    It was wonderful reading Christy’s views on writing. She is absolutely one of the nicest online friends I’ve made since starting my blog. Thanks for featuring her here.

    • Billybuc October 3, 2016 at 1:35 pm #

      It was my pleasure, macjam…and thank you for following my blog. Much-appreciated!

      • macjam47 October 3, 2016 at 10:25 pm #

        You have a great blog.

  25. Billybuc October 3, 2016 at 10:29 pm #

    Well thank you very much, Macjam. I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by.

  26. Cynthia October 7, 2016 at 1:58 am #

    Big Bro! Finally made it over here. 🙂 This school year has been nuts and…I have a little side project that I’m keeping under wraps – because as a writer, we cast a wide net, right? Except my net is multicolored and holey. Yes…what was that you said about being a writer and trying different things? Haha.
    Love this piece from Christy and love all the insights you both have to share. Hope you both are well! Sending big hugs!

    • Billybuc October 7, 2016 at 1:59 pm #

      Lil Sis, you aren’t even telling your big brother? What a rotten secret! LOL All in good time, as my mother used to say. All in good time.

      hugs from Olympia

  27. Vicki October 7, 2016 at 2:08 am #

    Yay! I love this! Christy is such a sweet person, and I loved the insight she had to share. Great job, Bill, on this interview.

    • Billybuc October 7, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

      Thank you Vicki! This was an easy interview to do…a labor of love!

  28. Shauna L Bowling October 12, 2016 at 4:23 pm #

    Great interview, Bill. Christy sounds like a down to earth person. I like her attitude and the fact that she doesn’t inundate potential prospects with her work. Love the line, “why market a steak to a vegetarian?” That’s smart marketing on her part and I’m sure the proof is in the pudding.

    I really enjoyed this, Bill.

    • Billybuc October 12, 2016 at 4:43 pm #

      Sha, I agree with you. I thought that line about steak was one of the best I’ve read in a very long time. 🙂 Thanks for being here and I hope you’re doing well. Eli and Liz send their regards.

  29. Billybuc October 12, 2016 at 4:46 pm #


  30. Billybuc January 24, 2017 at 3:21 pm #

    Well this is weird…not sure what this comment is or how it got here under a different blog heading.


  1. #Dodoitsu 01 — The Rainbow | Sarah Potter Writes - October 12, 2016

    […] Japanese poetry that was new to me, until BillyBuc at Artistry with Words mentioned it in a recent post. Thanks, Billy, and I’m sure you won’t mind if I quote you […]

  2. An Interview With Poet Sarah Potter | Artistry With Words - January 24, 2017

    […] Finally, I’ll touch briefly on dodoitsu, which I’d never heard of until Bill mentioned it in one of his posts. […]

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