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On Writing

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the head of a writer?   I came across this questionnaire that might give you a little insight into the process behind the writing.  *Disclaimer:  No two writers are created equal.

I got the idea for this post from Holly Evans at chaosfoxwriting.wordpress.com
Holly writes LGBT+ Urban Fantasy about tattoo magicians. It’s a pretty cool concept and I believe she has three books out in the series right now. Anyways, let’s get down to it.

How do you deal with self-doubt and the awful inner editor?

It’s hard.  If you’ve read my previous post, you know that self-doubt is something I do struggle with, especially with my writing.  Is it good enough?  How are these people finding success when I’m not?  There is always the question of what will other people think.  I write for myself and tell the best story I know how, but at the same time I’m putting it out there for other people’s entertainment.

The hardest part for me is not comparing myself to others.  Some days I am completely satisfied with my writing and my trajectory.  Other days I feel like a complete fraud.  I think it comes with the territory because there are so many writers out there that it is natural to compare yourself to them.  I’ve gotten better a taking criticism, that’s for sure, but sometimes a comment or review will catch you off guard and those are the ones that sting for a few hours.  In the end, though, you brush it off and write the next book.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both.  A good day of writing leaves me full of energy.  It’s on those days I can write 3000 words and feel like I’m on top of the world.  On a bad writing day, I might get out 300 words over the course of 5 hours and want to sit on the couch the rest of the night watching reruns of The Office.

If you could tell your younger writing self one thing, what would it be?

Don’t wait so long to take it seriously.  If you want to be a writer, write.  It’d have been a lot better to get all those crap words out at 21 than 27.

What would your writerly mascot or avatar be?

Hmmm.  Maybe a bear.  I write in spurts and when I’m working on a novel, I work on it almost every day, but when I send it off to the editor, I have a hard time writing anything else while I’m waiting for those edits back.  I guess that is when I hibernate.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I’ve got one in the pipeline at the moment and dozens of stories I’ve started and never finished, but I wouldn’t say any of them are half-finished.  I have a lot that are maybe 5-10% finished, so if you need any free story ideas, hit me up.

Land of the Dogs was one of the ones that sat around unpublished for a long time.  I still don’t know if I made the right decision by publishing it.

How many hours of the day do you write?

It depends, since I have another job.  When I’m working on the first draft, I try to get an hour even on my busy days.  When I have more time, I would say 3-5 is the average, depending on where I am in the story.   Beginnings and endings go faster and I usually slosh about through the middle.

Do you read your book reviews?

Every single one of them.  Sometimes to my own detriment.  A good one can send me to the moon, but a bad one can drag me down for a day or two.  It must be the desire to feel like my writing is good enough, but I can’t not read a review.  Maybe when I have more books out, I’ll stop reading them, but for now, I read them all.

Even your’s, Glenn.

Does your family support your writing career?

Kind of hard to say.  I don’t think anyone in my immediate family has bought a copy of my books.  If they have, no one has mentioned it.  My grandma was visibly impressed when I showed her the paperbacks of all my novels one time.  I think she thought that I posted a few things on the internet, not that I wrote actual novels you could hold in your hands.  I could probably go on and on about my family issues, but I’ll save it for my dog.

Do you use music when you write?

Absolutely not.  I need quiet to write.  Occasionally, if things are too loud, I’ll put on noise-canceling headphones and listen to thunderstorms.

Do I believe in writer’s block?

I don’t.  I believe there are times when I don’t know where the story is going or when words are like pulling teeth, but at the end of the day, this is my job.  I sit at the desk and fight for every word, even if I know I’ll go back and change it the next day.  Progress is progress and not writing is not an option.

For me, writer’s block is a luxury I don’t have.

Do you base your characters on real people?

Not entirely, but sometimes snippets of people’s personality may find their way into a character.  By and large, each character is their own person.  They evolve over the course of a story and I don’t think that would be possible if they were just a cutout of another person.

That’s it for now.  Stay tuned for my next release.  I’m waiting on my edits for Pangea Online: Death and Axes and I’m hoping to have it up for sale in 3-4 weeks.

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