I thought for today’s post I’d tell you a little more about myself by answering some writing-related questions. I hope it gives you some insight into who I am and encourages you to think about your own responses. Enjoy!
1. Where do you write?
Someplace quiet. I’m easily distracted by noises, even music, which is why I do my best work in the ridiculously-early hours of the morning when most of the world is asleep.
2. What are your writing habits?
Once I start, I can’t stop. I’m not one of those people who sets out with a word goal for the day and finishes as soon as I’ve reached my target. No; if I’m on a roll, I have to keep going. It’s not uncommon for me to lose whole chunks of time to the fictional world of my imagination. I forget to eat, I forget to sleep, I just… lose myself in the story. More than once I’ve cranked out over 10,000 words in 14-hour-straight writing marathons. (Those days are insane!).
I recently read a quote by Stephen King that sums up my writing habits perfectly:
“When you sit down to write, write. Don’t do anything else except go to the bathroom, and only do that if it absolutely cannot be put off.”
3. How do you write your first drafts?
- Without looking back. (There’s plenty of time for editing later.)
- I have a starting point and not much else, but I always write from beginning to end without jumping ahead to random chapters.
- I don’t plan my plots, mostly because anytime I do make a plans, they end up changing. I just let my characters drive the story where they want it to go, and I get to tag along for the ride.
4. Which writers have most influenced you or inspired you?
I’d probably have to be a walking cliché here and say J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis. (Yes, I can practically hear your groans, but that doesn’t make it any less true!). I grew up reading the Harry Potter books in between searching my wardrobe for an entrance to Narnia, so I’ve lived in my very own fantasy daydream long enough for it to have rubbed off on me. I’ve always loved how these two authors (among others) could draw readers into their magical worlds so much that we never want to leave. And I hope one day I’m able to create the same kind of beauty through my stories.
5. What genre(s) do you (aspire to) write?
I love writing for the young adult genre and I think I’ll mostly always stick with that – and usually in the fantasy or science fiction subcategory. That said, I’m currently working on a new adult contemporary (I’ll talk more about this on Wednesday!), which just shows that anything is possible. I also have a few WIPs that are completely different again. So, I guess when it comes down to it, if I find myself inspired by something (regardless of genre) then I simply have to get it out of my head and on paper. It’s as simple as that!
6. What’s your biggest challenge as a writer?
Remembering to live in the real world! (Sad, but true).
7. Do you have any advice for other writers?
As harsh as it sounds, unless you love writing enough that you’re willing to sacrifice your blood, sweat, and tears to make a real go of it — while knowing that your efforts might never amount to anything — then perhaps your time might be better spent pursuing other passions. Ernest Hemingway had it right when he said, ‘There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.’ You have to be willing to do exactly that. So, my advice is to think long and hard about whether writing is just something you want to do, or if it’s something you have to do.
For me, the answer to this can be summarised in a statement I came up with a few years ago:
“Write. Breathe. Are they not but one and the same?”