Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Questions (and Answers) About Writing

This has been making the rounds among some of my online writer friends, so I thought I'd participate:

1. Do you share your work with your partner or spouse? Does it matter if it’s been published yet?

Yes, absolutely, and no, absolutely not. My wife winds up appearing in my work in one form or another all the time, so it's only fair to share it with her.

2. How much of your family and/or closest "friends in real life first" read your stuff--let alone give you feedback about it?

Pretty much all of my immediate family and friends get exposed to my stuff. Sort of like germs.

3. What do you do with the pieces that continually get rejected--post on your blog? Trash? When do you know it’s time to let it go?

The short stories I wrote ages ago that never got published are languishing on disks somewhere I probably don't have the hardware to read. I self-published the two novels I wrote that I couldn't find an agent for.

4. Are there pieces you write for one very specific place that, once rejected, you just let go of, or do you rework into something else?

Hasn't happened to me yet. We'll see when I get there.

5. What is your main source of reading-based inspiration (especially you essayists)? Blogs? Magazines? Journals? Anthologies? Book of essays by one writer?

Pretty much everything. Fiction. Non-fiction. Movies. Songs. Comics. Games. Stuff that happens to me.

6. What tends to spark ideas more for you: what you see/hear in daily life or what you read?

It's a toss-up. I think it would be hard to isolate my inspiration to any specific medium. It's organic. (That sounds pretty pretentious. I must be an author now.)

7. Who have you read in the past year or two that you feel is completely brilliant but so underappreciated?

Every month, it feels like Gregg Taylor from Decoder Ring Theater writes a podcast radio show targeted directly at my specific geek-buttons. He and the voice actors who work with him are consistently fantastic.

8. Without listing anything written by Dani Shapiro, Anne Lamott, Lee Gutkind, or Natalie Goldberg, what craft books are "must haves"?

I've read several craft books, but I don't think I'd qualify any of them as must-haves, because I don't think there's one correct way to write. I expect that every writer eventually develops her own process. The best way to get started writing, in my opinion, is to write, and to keep writing, and to talk to other writers about writing. Everything else is just guidelines and preferences.

9. Have you ever regretted having something published? Was it because of the content or the actual writing style/syntax?

Not yet. I can't imagine being ashamed of my style, since that's a matter of practice and polish and constantly evolving anyway. It's entirely possible that I'll say something that's just stupid, though, so I have that to look forward to.