Writing with Love: A Conversation with Writer Kristina Cappuccilli
Just a weeks ago, I met with New York-based writer Kristina Cappuccilli at Pudge Knuckles Cafe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. After chatting and reading some of her writing, I found myself wanting to know all about how Kristina manages to stay to so open in the heart of one the most intense cities in the world, what inspires her to write, and all about her creative habits. In this interview, I quenched my curiosity. I asked Kristina all about her creativity, and was absolutely awed by her beautiful words. Read on, and feel free to comment below to let us know if you are as moved as I was!
When did your love of writing begin? What inspired you to put the pen to paper?
Similar to the greatest love stories, I got swept away by the art of writing almost immediately. It began when I purchased my first album (you know, those ancient discs that Spotify and Pandora have steadily replaced) and flipped through the booklet that held all of the notable mentions and lyrics that comprised the album. I was so blown away by the poetry, imagery, and raw emotion embedded in the lyrics (if you must know, it was Christina Aguilera’s self-titled album) that it inspired me to start penning my own thoughts.
Before I knew it, I filled up an entire three-subject notebook with songs that described people, places, and feelings that I had no other means of expressing properly. It was an incredibly surreal experience–expanding on my thoughts and gaining a deeper understanding of what they meant in an environment free of criticism and judgement.
This inspired me to look toward other styles of writing: fiction pieces, autobiographical accounts, memoirs, short stories, feature articles–you name it, I tried it. What inspired me most, and what continues to inspire me today, is that my writing is my own. In a world where we’re constantly taught to build up walls and guard our feelings, writing is the outlet by which I can be vulnerable and honest. The paper does not judge what the pen writes, but rather, it serves as a means of escape and relief from the noise of the outside world. It’s been my sanctuary for the better part of my life, and I’m nothing short of grateful for that.
What are you writing about these days?
This is a wonderful question with a rather complicated answer. The majority of what I write about boils down to communication within relationships. Why is it so hard for men to understand what women want in romantic relationships? How should our generation try to close the gap when engaged in a conversation with someone older? Does technology hinder our ability to have meaningful human interactions?
Despite the specific subject matter, I’m fascinated by people. Meeting strangers in foreign countries, making connections with people from different backgrounds, exploring the ways in which humans form relationships–I gravitate toward this idea and use my writing to peel back the layers in an attempt to understand it on a deeper level.
We love your creative style of writing. What advice would you give to women who are trying to open up and are having trouble expressing themselves?
Think of your writing as an extension of your mind. I find that I have my best ideas when I’m not busy worrying about what people will think of them or what the implications of my writing will have. Consider it as your solace, the place where you’re able to allow all of your emotions to roam and live freely.
I always try to draw from personal experience, whether it’s my story or someone who has opened up to me and shared their own predicament. Because I’m working with material that is personal to me, I tend to be invested in it completely. I don’t write for the validation of anyone but myself, and that’s when the best writing comes to me–when it’s free of inhibition and boundaries. In this way, I am to able to create my own domain by which I can express anything I’m feeling. I think that’s what I love most about it.
Is there a piece you’ve written that you’re most proud of? Tell us about it.
Ironically enough, the piece I’m most proud of is something I haven’t had published or even read in years. I took a Memoir Writing class during my senior year of college and we were tasked with crafting an analogy for how we perceive ourselves. At first glance, it didn’t seem like such a difficult concept to expand on. Who knows me better than me? Well, two weeks and countless doses of caffeine later, I realized that even I didn’t know myself as much as I thought, which led me to a thought: What would I look like if I were seeing myself through someone else’s eyes? Would I look different? Would I sound different? Would I carry the same energy I think I embody? That’s when it hit me – we’re never going to see ourselves in the light that others are able to, and that’s both a terrifying and amazing realization to come to terms with.
From there I expanded on the idea of mirrors, one of the only means by which we can physically see ourselves, and even then it’s manipulated. We’re seeing the opposite reflection, there could be a crack in the mirror, one side could be smudged–how do we know if what we’re seeing is really what’s there? It was an enlightening process for me, one that shaped my writing voice and probed me to dive deeper into not only myself, but the art of writing in general.
Writing with Love: A Conversation with Writer Kristina Cappuccilli.
Would you share with our readers any challenging moments you’ve had sharing your self? How’d you work through it?
Like I mentioned earlier, I think the only way to write material that resonates and leaves an impression is if I’m being honest with myself, whether it’s regarding a person, a place, a or a thought. As humans, being honest with ourselves is one of the most underrated challenges to tackle, and the hardest part is that you’re the only one who can help you work through it.
Sometimes, this requires some good old fashion free writing. I start off by writing down things that mean something to me – names, dates, specific ideas. From there, I dig a little deeper and write words and sentences that describe each. There doesn’t need to be a consistent flow or sentence structure, but through free writing, I’m able to discover exactly what it is I’m trying to say.
Trust me, it’s no easy feat (there have been numerous moments when it’s taken me two hours to break down my feelings regarding a date with a guy I had two weeks earlier). The most important part of this process is to not force anything. Don’t write it down because it’s appropriate or because it fits. If it doesn’t speak volumes to you or make you feel something, scratch it and start over.
We understand you’re in the corporate world these days. What are you up to?
Creative writer turned corporate new girl is how I’ve referred to myself for the past four years, and the title has definitely stuck. Currently, I’m a Project Coordinator at MKTG, an experiential marketing agency. In other words, I plan, coordinate, and execute events that bring our brands to life and leave consumers with memorable, one-of-a-kind experiences.
In my spare time, I write as often as I can in as many facets as possible. I serve as a contributing writer to multiple online publications and also curate content for all of MKTG’s social channels. Though I’m climbing the corporate ladder, I try to distinguish myself in the landscape by identifying opportunities that will elevate my creativity and lead to more writing in the future.
What’s next for you?
What a loaded question. Ideally, I want to write more. Ask me this question in three months, and the answer will still be the same. The blessing (and sometimes the curse) of writing is that there his no limit to how much you can grow. There will always be experiences to draw from, new people to form relationships with, and bigger ideas to sink your teeth into. In time, I hope to hone in on my craft even further and continue to write material that moves and resonates with people on a larger scale.
Read more of Kristina’s writing here.
Writing with Love: A Conversation with Writer Kristina Cappuccilli photo for Kristina Cappuccilli.