Today I’m linking up with Paper Fury’s Beautiful People meme.
Usually the questions are about the characters, but this month they are about the author. Which is… Which is me.
So prepare yourself for profound insights into my writing life.
1. How do you decide which project to work on?
Ha ha ha.
I plod around the house moaning and cursing the sky and my brain and any insects unfortunate enough to wander into my path. After that, I take whatever project I can’t stop thinking about, slip it inconspicuously into my coat (yes, sir, of course I have a Newt Scamander coat which I wear about the house), and smuggle it away to my room where I bar the door and hide under my bed and hope that all the other projects won’t find me. I do my best to ignore the pounding on the door, which could be other story ideas which are feeling neglected, or perhaps some poor human who wants my help and doesn’t understand that this is my
dungeon secure writing facility and I won’t be coming out until I’ve written something, even if they are getting attacked by zombie panda bears or fanged hamsters. (Note: Writing obligations aside, if someone is getting attacked by zombie pandas or fanged hamsters, I am NOT coming out because fighting and assassin skills are lamentably low on my list of priorities [clearly learning to make muffins and writing about Ethan Hunt singing “Oh What A Beautiful Morning” on his farm take precedence]).
2. How long does it usually take you to finish a project?
Usually? That’s a tricky word. “Usually” implies some kind of consistency.
Honestly, I haven’t finished very many things. I wrote a long-short story in six months. I wrote a (short) book in 15 months. I just recently wrote another (even shorter) book in 12 DAYS which was AMAZING.
And yes, all of these are first drafts. If we’re talking about actually FINISHING a project…. I’ll let you know when it happens.
3. Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?
Mostly just internal shouting at myself. Helpful, inspirational phrases like:
“JUST WRITE SOMETHING ALREADY.”
Sometimes I look at the stuff I’ve already written. Or something someone else has written. Or I take I walk and try to notice things. Or I just lie on the floor and eat crackers and doodle in the margins of my blank paper and wait for inspiration to fall through the ceiling.
4. What time of day do you write best?
Well- not ALL day. But at any random time. Whenever inspiration smacks me in the face like a dead fish.
As I said before, consistency is not something I am equipped with. For a while I wrote a lot at night. Recently I’ve been making myself write first thing in the morning. Which is better?
5. Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?
I’ve been told I my writing is similar to Kate DiCamillo. I really admire her simple, yet poetic prose and I hope my writing is like that.
Also, reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak revolutionized my writing. It taught me how to write the world the way you see it. I don’t know how similar my writing is to his, but he definitely had a huge impact on it.
6. Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?
The earliest piece of writing I have is a page long story I dictated to my aunt when I was four. I grew up in a very reading/writing focused family. I wrote various things throughout my growing up, but I don’t think I got really into writing until I was… 13?
I guess I started writing because I loved stories and could never be content just to read them. I had to create my own.
I keep writing because there are stories inside me, waiting to be fully told. There are characters I want to get to know better and places I want to see. I also write because I am an introvert and talking to people is terrifying. Writing is a way to connect with them. I get to share parts of myself that I really would like people to know- like the part that is actually an interesting person, not just a frightened cardboard chicken who says, “Hi. How are you? I’m fine,” and runs for cover.
7. What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?
I do not know, my friend.
I have several stories that I’ve started that are difficult because they’re not really linear. A lot of the story takes place either in flashbacks or in the main characters thoughts, and I don’t really know how to present the story in a way that everything falls into place.
8. Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet?
Maybe the project of EDITING?!
Also I have a play I want to write, but I’ve never written a play so…. yes. I’m hiding under a bush.
9. What writing goals did you make for 2017 and how are they going?
The only two goals I can think of that I “officially” made were a) finish this one story I had been working on for almost a year and b) write everyday.
I just recently finished the above mentioned story (unenthusiastic cheers because “Yay I finished!” But it’s a terrible mess which means editing which I don’t know how to do.) And so far I have written everyday, even if it’s about a pair of socks that did absolutely nothing or a snail or a bumblebee.
10. Describe your writing process in three words or a gif.
So there you have it. My writing life in a nutshell (or, a blog post I guess).
Be sure to go to Paper Fury’s blog to check out the other link-ups!