Lifelong learners: Andreea Vasile
Name: Andreea Vasile
Tagline: So much to live, so little time.
Andreea, do you always tell the truth in your writing?
I always tell my truth. And sometimes I manage to also tell The Truth, the kind of truth that feels real to everyone, no matter who they are or where they come from, the kind of truth that unites everybody.
Do you think there are different layers of truth?
Yes, of course. Everyone sees the truth differently based on personal experience and cultural experience. Also, truth changes in our lives as years pass by. What was true when we were teenagers might not feel true now, in adulthood. With new experiences and introspection come new truths. Some we feel deep and keep within ourselves forever, some go away, as they were only temporary and, maybe, influenced by a certain state of mind or certain emotions.
On your website you say you have a native talent characterized by sensibility, a spirit of observation and self education translated in constant writing. Would you say these are essential traits a writer should have?
I don’t know the traits of a writer. But I know my traits. Shortly put: I am interested in some people and their stories, I am also interested in how people and events connect, at some point, I see myself as a translator trying to explain to the readers what I see around me and how I feel about what I see be it through the stories of other people or through my own perception of what is around us.
When did you first start to think about devoting yourself to writing?
I don’t think it was a certain point. It just came natural. I always loved hand writing. In school, I would copy different texts in notebooks and then copy some more, haha. I just loved the way the letters looked on the paper after I wrote them. I always kept a diary. In highschool, I wrote short stories. I wrote birthday wishes for my mother’s colleagues at work even if I didn’t know them and she would always say: you made them cry again. It’s around that time I started to understand the power of words and how I can move somebody with my words even if I don’t know that person. Also, I was a very active reader, I read a lot in highschool and I keep doing it nowadays too.
I know you have a good relationship with your parents and you’ve always had their support. Would you say this played an important role on your confidence as a writer?
It is true that my relationship with my parents is very good, but they haven’t influenced my love for writing in any way. Writing was something I liked to do in the intimacy of my own room. It is true that dad always bought me books in high school. I would give him endless lists of titles and he would go to the bookstore and buy them for me. Books, beautiful notebooks and pencils and pens were my must have during my teenage years, haha. Confidence was something I built naturally because I was a loved kid and my parents always let me be.
Did anyone ever tell you writing is a bad career and you shouldn’t do it?
No, no one ever told me that. I was a lucky girl and everything worked out for me just fine always. I really believed in myself and in my intuition and the rare occasions I tried to fool myself always came back like a boomerang with health issues or headaches or things that didn’t work out. So trying to be or do something else than what I felt inside I was meant to do was never an option. On the other hand, whenever I pursued my writing, be it in written press, or blog, or TV, even if it was sometimes hard because I had the passion, but not always the skills, it turned out well in the end.
In your past jobs you worked as an editor as well. Do you like editing as much as writing?
I work better alone than in a team though I recently developed my team work skills, let’s say in the past two years since I started to work as a freelancer and for this I had to revisit some of my attitudes. When I started my work in TV, I started as an editor and it was hard for both me and the people I worked with because I didn’t have the patience of guiding the reporters into improving their stories and I was very critical about their work. This is why, in the end, I asked my producer to let me do my own stories because I would feel happier. She let me do it, but I also kept the editing part, half of the time. Of course, as a reporter, I was under the eye of an editor myself who oftentimes had suggestions of how to make my stories better, haha. So what goes around comes around. Nowadays I have editors for some of the pieces that I write but I understand their value for my work and I welcome their improvements on my work. I have grown up, haha.
What grabs your attention when you’re looking for a story?
It is hard to answer this question because oftentimes it is not a clear reason, it’s a feeling. I just sense that there is more in a person or a situation and I feel I want to find out more of what is there. But surely it has to have something inspirational, something that would make the reader go A-HA! Of course, not all stories are like that, some are better than others, but there is the act of writing and exercising my writing that interests me more than anything. Even a dull event can become exciting if you write about it in a certain way.
What has writing taught you about yourself and other people?
Writing is my meditation spot. I am a girl with very little patience, but writing can put me in my spot and keep me there for hours so I am really grateful I am able to hold my horses when I write. I wouldn’t say though that writing taught me anything about myself and other people. It’s living and being alive that taught me things about myself and other people, it is the experience that has been an amazing teacher. Through writing I only kept the track of it all.
Tell me about a mistake you’ve made that you like.
I have no such example of what I consider to be a mistake that I like. I consider it all to be part of experience. And truth be told I have never did something so out of line so over the years to think of it as OMG, haha. I am quite a considerate person, quite balanced, never out of line.
What would you say is the hardest part of being a writer?
There is nothing I consider hard as a writer because I now know what to expect and I am used to every aspect of it. But if I were to answer your question, then transcription of long interviews from the recorder on the paper is still a slow death to me, haha.
Which of the stories you write stuck the most with you?
I have a very bad memory and I tend to forget the stories that I write. I also do not keep track of my stories and do not keep a record of them. I have some stories that I have filed on my computer and mom also did it with some of my stories, but I would say that most of them are lost in time. I have always been like that, I like my mind and my space aired and I hate to collect stuff, it chokes me. I have some stories that seemed pretty special to me when I wrote them and I would say – this is my best piece so far – but if I were to read that certain piece over the years I wouldn’t feel impressed anymore. I am always happy to pay attention to the stuff I am working on in the present, like this interview, for example, haha.
The Lifelong Learners are conversations with people regarding their work experiences, what keeps them going, how they deal with failure and self doubt and the things they learn along the journey.