Interview with Mariachiara Scotti, @womenplot author

by Erica Surace

Mariachiara Scotti is an emerging writer published by Women Plot. Born in 1989 and with a master’s degree in Sociology, she currently lives in Brianza with her partner and their kid. “Voglio il tempo indeterminato” is her first novel, available from June 30th, 2021 on our website. 

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Talking about myself as a writer is still a bit scary but at the same time it makes me really happy. By now I have been writing for about a year, when I started to put together everything I wrote during the years. However, on top of being a writer I have been a mom for the past two years and I am an employee. Back in college, I studied sociology and this way of seeing life brought me to the thought that it was time for me to put together all of the considerations I wrote and tell a story. Some parts of it are inspired by what I’ve lived, while others are stories I’ve heard from different people. I live in Brianza, I have a baby and I live with my partner. We are often defined as a mixed couple because he is originally from Cameroon, but I do not like to be defined by others What else? I guess you can definitely discover more about me in my book.

Is there a connection between sociology and writing?

Yes, there is. When I tell people I studied sociology I can see doubts arising in their eyes, they are asking themselves what sociology exactly is, because it’s still not a well-known subject. Studying this has given me a vision of the world that unfortunately, or fortunately, I cannot avoid having, because I always find myself analyzing every situation. In order to help those who don't have an understanding sociology yet, in the book I talk about multiple social themes so that others can be more aware of them and understand them even if they didn’t have the same background as I do. The novel is a very fresh read, it is not a sociology essay. I wanted to put together something that everyone can read, while at the same time get to know more about important sociological topics.

Where did the inspiration for this story come from and how did you decide to write about it?

I wrote the book in the past year but it was born from a collection of thoughts that I annotated in the last few years. Starting there I began to write a story that was also based on my personal experiences, as there are some experiences that can only be told by someone who has lived through them. It’s also based on stories I’ve heard from different people at the employment agency and in the human resources department, stories that are hardly ever told. Having a permanent job is the aspiration of many young people, but sadly most of them don’t have the chance to get it. Bianca is one of the few lucky ones who got it before she was even 30. So, this is the story of a woman who made it, at least from her parent’s and society’s points of view. But... has she really?

Where did you find the inspiration of this conflictual relationship of love and hate with a job?

I can't help but mention again my studies as a sociologist. I have talked about topics such as this one many times and it’s easy for me to have an opinion about it and a pretty clear idea. This for me was an easy topic that I decided to tell in a different and more informal way. I wrote a novel. It is simply a new way to talk about issues that have always been talked about.

What has been your writing process: how did you transform these sociology thoughts into a novel?

Some parts of the book have been written years and years ago, and they were there waiting to find their home. It hasn’t been hard writing because maybe I needed it a lot. I am not the first to say that writing can be therapeutic, it is necessary sometimes to write black on white what is going on inside of you. I surely am not the first person to say that the first lockdown was very hard, and I lived it in my maternity lead. I really needed something to get away from taking care of my baby all day. Writing was my way to get away from reality. I wanted to talk to a hypothetical reader and in that moment I needed something fresh and easy, so I think that this is how the book came out.

Like you said some parts have been written before others, how long before? Are there any moments from your younger age that are linked to your writing?

I think I started to write when I was a teenager, but who didn't have a secret diary at that age? So, getting rid of the moments and weights on my chest was easier for me to do on paper than by talking. This has always helped me and it’s like I was able to close a chapter, I went back and took those parts I wrote before and gave them an order.

Is there anything in particular you have learned during this process?

Writing helps to put things in order, I could’ve done it before, but now it has given me space, freedom, purpose and the possibility to do something new. It gave me clarity and I think we all need that. For me this can be achieved through writing but for others this therapy can be found in different ways for sure. The way to find this road is there, but today young people are given infinite possibilities, we are given plenty of choices and we are reminded of that all the time. It’s true, we have a lot of possibilities but we can feel the pressure of having to choose which one we want to make ours.

We have this idea that everything can be achieved, but is it true?

I think that society is making us believe that everything is possible with good discipline, and with that you can do anything. If someone is determined, everything can be achieved, but the real question is: how do you feel during the journey? We live in this situation like we almost want to do everything, we believe we can change our choices whenever we want, we can pick a different route. But first we need to understand how we want to feel while trying to reach the goal, what feelings are important to us. What matters in the end is feeling good, not reaching millions of milestones that make us feel bad.

What advice would you give to someone who is in the process of writing a book and is having a hard time?

In the book the answer to this question can be found, but there is a method to reach the things we want to. The starting point is asking yourself what emotions you want to feel. Then, if you think that the realization of a certain project will make you feel good then go on, that’s the right way and you need to keep going. Even though doubts are always there, if you continue listening to everything you are told you won’t go anywhere. Feeling good is the key to keep going.

We were very happy to get to know Mariachiara in a live interview now streaming on our podcast (only available in Italian).