An interview with… Nick Maynard

Let’s sit down with Changeling poet Nick Maynard to learn more about his practice and what inspires him!

Emmy: Hello! Tell us a bit about yourself.

Nick: I’m Nick and I’m a queer writer and artist living in Manchester.

Emmy: What inspired your Changeling piece?

Nick: My Gran inspired my piece because she was such an inspiration to me, I wanted to write something that celebrated how amazing she was. She was born in the 1920 – and is no longer with us – but she left so much wisdom in her wake. She was born and brought up in Blackburn, Lancashire, and worked in the cotton mills, and had such a passion for words and writing. And she had such an out look that reframed even the saddest event into a possibility for rebirth and hope. This is one of her sayings, made large. And the help it gave me with my problems.

Emmy: How long have you been creating?

Nick: I’ve been writing and drawing all my life. These were my worlds, when I didn’t seem to fit into the conventional one; I just created my own… Then realised people wanted to join me… Now they pay for the privilege.

Emmy: Where is your favourite place to create?

Nick: I used to love writing in the bath… But now I only have a shower and have to be grown up and work in the office.

Emmy: Who was your favourite writer when you were young… (TV definitely counts!)

Nick: Being dyslexic, I struggled to read – so I made my own stories… But TV – Doctor Who was my favourite.

Emmy: What is your favourite thing about being neurodivergent?

Nick: I love that my world is my world – I love that I can make connection no one else can make. I love being unique and having rose coloured spectacle on every day.

Emmy: What is your favourite thing about writing?

Nick: I’ve always loved the ability to re-write the past and see the world as I make it. It’s like being God. I get to put words into other people’s mouths and have them say it, and live it as I would have wanted it.

Emmy: Do you think being neurodivergent impacts your creativity in any way?

Nick: I wish I could spell better and know the rules about English grammar [I could work so much quicker and produce more stuff – and not worry about mistakes all the time – that hits my confidence – especially when you get some feedback on spelling and basic grammar mishaps – as if you haven’t bothered to proofread… ] – but then I guess I would have lost my uniqueness – so no… Those are just practical things and people help me with those.

Emmy: What would you say to encourage any young, aspiring writers reading this?

Nick: Write every day. Don’t listen to anyone who says you can’t. They’re the ones who can’t – you’re the one that can… Never give up. Never give in. Hone your craft and then let the world see what you can do… The first steps are always the hardest – the first word on the page, the first line on the paper, the first person you share your work with… But every journey starts with that first step. So, take it… there are lots of people out there who are just waiting to hold your hand and help you take it.

Emmy: Is Changeling your first time being published?

Nick: No – my first book “Cripple” – about a quadriplegic boy who has a fantasy relationship with a boy he sees at the bus stop – is available from Amazon, Queer Lit [Tibb Street, Manchester] and The Pride Shop [Affleck’s Palace, Manchester].

Follow Nick @NickMaynardUK on Twitter. Listen to his poem, “My Gran” in the video below.

Changeling Annual 2023 will be published in Spring — keep an eye out for updates by following our Instagram.

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