I was lucky enough to talk to the author of the recently published (December 20, 2019 to be exact) collection of stories and poems I Told You I Hated New York, Molly Louise Hudelson. While waiting for her answers, I reread the 89 page book, rethinking the emotions she conveys and how they connected to me as a reader. When she got back to me with her answers, I was not surprised by her love for writing and connecting to the reader, as she does a great job of it throughout each story. To buy Molly’s new book, click here, and to check out a review of the book, click here!
Is there a specific story or poem from your collection that is your favorite? Whether that be because it brought back your favorite memory, or because you enjoyed your time writing it?
I would have to say the title poem, "I Told You I Hated New York"! I was going through a rough time emotionally when I had a night out in New York. I thought it was going to be "just another night" where I just found myself stressed and overwhelmed by the city but that night I realized what a good time I was actually having – instead of telling someone "oh my god, this is the worst, it's too much, I hate it" – I was getting dinner, meeting friends, going to a show, and realizing things were actually pretty great. It felt like a big turning point for me and as soon as I was working on putting the book together I knew that was the title.
Could you sum up how music has influenced your writing in a few sentences?
Growing up, and to this day, I never felt like I really fit in anywhere. Discovering music and all my favorite artists was huge for me; it meant finding a place where I would be accepted but more importantly where I could try new things (whether that meant moshing for the first time, or pushing myself to start interviewing and photographing bands!). A lot of my favorite music is music I can relate to, and as a writer I hope to write things that not only show people who I am, but that they can relate to.
Why are the experiences and feelings that the underground scene allows people to have important to share?
The underground music scene was (and, to some extent, still is) a huge source of community for me. As humans we need community, but often people don't know where to look for it. I want people to know that there are communities out there (whether they find it through music, or something else; it's okay to look for that place where you feel like you belong).
What was the process you went through when choosing these pieces for the book?
The book features pieces of writing dating back to 2011, around when I started getting involved in music journalism, to 2019, when I'd accomplished a whole lot of bucket-list-type goals and was getting ready for my next steps. The original thought was to pick two pieces per year, but it didn't line up that neatly. I searched through old hard drives and private blog posts to find things I'd written over the years, to hopefully show how I'd grown from a kid who was so excited to discover and fall in love with music, to an adult who has accomplished a lot of things I'd only dreamed about.
How long was the process of creating the book?
The idea first came to me back in the spring/summer of 2017, but I kinda shelved it for a while as I was focusing on other projects. I wrote the poem "I Told You I Hated New York" in November 2018 and I didn't know what I was going to do with it but I knew I wanted to do something! Then, this past fall, I decided it was time to really get to work on putting this book together. I started looking through my writing archives mid-October 2019, and the book came out December 20. So, about two months of dedicated work (compiling, editing, formatting, etc).
What is your method when it comes to writing?
A lot of pieces – like the title poem, for example – were written very much in the moment, as I was experiencing and feeling something. Some of them were written days, weeks, months, or even years after something happened. Often I'll have either a story to tell or a feeling I want to capture in a piece and I try to paint a picture with my words – whether that's in the form of a poem or spilling out my thoughts like a diary entry. Usually, I write because I'm feeling something so strongly, I can't help but share it.
Do you have any other plans for publishing other stories or poems soon?
I don't have any concrete plans to publish another book, but I'd definitely like to! Right now, I'm focusing my creative energy on some freelance journalism as well as making YouTube videos (which is a whole new adventure for me!). I've written a few things here and there since the book came out, but haven't made any plans to publish them.
To see more of what Molly is up to, follow her on social media:
Interview by Sarah Vincent