Oyster River Pages: How has your writing or art changed over time?
Nicole Heneveld: My writing has become much more honest over time. When I first started, I wrote to entertain others, but now I write mostly for myself.
ORP: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
NH: The best advice I've ever been given is to enjoy the journey, not the destination. If you focus on the end goal, you might lose sight of the beauty and joy of each individual step along the way.
ORP: Who do you hope reads your work and why?
NH: I hope that women of all ages will read my work because I would like to think that the pieces I share speak to an experience that is relatable. By sharing and reading these stories we might all be able to feel a little stronger in the knowledge that we are not alone.
ORP: Do you consider your writing/artistic time to be work or play?
NH: Both. I consider my writing to be both work and play, depending on the piece. Some projects are written purely for my own pleasure, while others are written with the hope that they will meet a certain professional standard.
ORP: What’s next for you artistically?
NH: I will hopefully be finishing up a verse novel in the coming months.
ORP: How does this work connect to your personal experiences/identity?
NH: This particular piece is very close to my heart. It explores the concept of the female body being reduced to a biological clock, which is a frequent theme in my work. I have often felt the pressure that the speaker feels in this poem to follow the path that her mother wants her to follow. There is an intense struggle inside of me as a result of the pressure to conform to expectations of womanhood at the same time that there is an extreme desire to push them away.
Nicole Heneveld is a writer based in New York. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing from Adelphi University. Her work has been published by Gods & Radicals' 'A Beautiful Resistance,' The Rondeau Roundup, and Awakened Voices Magazine. Read her poetry here.