We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Ayala and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
In reality, I have not fully pursued a career in writing. Although, a girl can dream a little. Writing to me has been one of the most liberating things I have ever decided to share with my little world thus far. Deciding to share it with my followers on Instagram or WordPress was something I never planned on doing, but one day I decided to send in an idea to UNIDAYS and they asked me to write a couple more for their website, I think in that moment, I was given so much hope. I thought that if just this one person believed in me and my writing, then maybe others could find it valuable, maybe someone else could relate. So although I do strive for more in my writing and poetry, I am also happy to just write for me and the feeling I receive when I put the pen to the paper and allow the words to bleed from my heart. Currently, I am writing for the Dateline newspaper at the University of Houston Downtown.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art is the art of writing. I once told someone that I was not an artist and they quickly corrected me saying, “Writing is an art, you are an artist.” So now I do consider myself an artist, and because of my writing, I have begun to create other sorts of artistic creations. To me, everything an artist creates sets them apart from others. Because each person is creating something that is only coming from their creative mind. So whether anyone appreciates it or not, it is their unique art, their niche. Professionally, I am not there yet, but I believe that if I stay on this path, I will get to where I want to be one day, in due time that is. Is writing easy? Some would say no, and at times I do get blocks. So those times do become sort of a window. Writing blocks can last days, weeks, and sometimes months. Currently, I have been writing a ton but not displaying them. I strongly believe that sometimes we just have to be alone in our own minds for a little while. What is forced can sometimes be reflected in your writing and that is not something that I want to get used to. Some major lessons I have learned is that you cannot take things to heart. If you plan on sending your work in and entering contests, you will likely lose and be told no more than you win or are told yes, but don’t allow that to stop you or hold you back next time. Take those no’s or losses and use them to motivate you. Know this, one day it won’t just be one poem or one story, one day I’ll have my own book being written.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Houston has so much to do. Beginning an itinerary would consist of so much, but I will try to get all of my favorite spots in. If you happen to be in Cypress, I would highly recommend a little coffee shop named The Cuppo Coffee. Not only do they have some of the best coffee in Cypress, but the owners and baristas always welcome you with a friendly smile. If you come in enough, they will even call you by your name. Now if you enjoy being outdoors, I’d say that the newly renovated running trail at Stude Park would be just your style. The trail is lined with the most dazzling sunflowers that are perfect for instagram worthy pictures. Then, off to a lunch (and I gotta be honest here) Salata is one of my favorite spots around town. If you feel a need for caffeine in the city, I would highly recommend Day 6 Day on Prairie or one of the Luce Coffee Roasters. Now when it comes to dinner, my hands down recommendation would be a little British Pub I was introduced to named The Red Lion, they have the best grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, and grilled Brussel sprouts. It is also a great date night spot.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh, so many people I am thankful for and that deserve some sort of credit. The first thing I am thankful for is all of my life’s memories thus far, because without them, I would have nothing to write about. I used to believe that I was cursed in love, sometimes I still do, but without all the heartaches, I wouldn’t have so many lines to write about love and loss. My mother, my father, my children, a special man to whom has been my muse, friends, and all the women that have believed in me thus far. I owe people so much for listening to me read my lines over and over, listening to me read my blogs and always giving their honest opinions, as well as editing some of my work without asking for anything in return. It was recently that one of my poems was featured in a book entitled “A Glass of Wine with Edgar” by a publishing company entitled Wingless Dreamer, I am forever grateful to them.
Connie Leon, headshot only.