The Writer Tag: 20 Questions

I found this on a blog called Life and Other Disasters.

  • What type of writing do you do? 

At the moment, I write YA novels, poetry, and academic writing (articles, books, etc).

  • What genres and/or topics do you write about?

I’ve written a few different genres but at the moment my main interest is D&D-style contemporary fantasy

  • How long have you been writing?

Since I was a kid. I didn’t get serious about it until I was a teenager. I wanted to be a journalist when I was young, but that was because I thought that ‘novelist’ wasn’t a real job – that it was the equivalent of wanting to be an astronaut or a billionaire. In some ways I was right. But I’m going to go ahead and try to be a novelist anyway.

  • Are you published?

Yes. I was a ghostwriter for a few years and wrote a swag of fiction novels for other writers, so my name does not appear on any of them. That taught me a lot about writing as a job, how to push through writer’s block, and develop a routine and recovery strategy for my mind. I’ve published a few short stories and academic articles under my own name.

  • What was the first story you ever wrote?

When I was in primary school, I wrote a Goosebumps-style short story about a kid who goes to the moon and meets aliens. I remember because I had the audacity to turn it into a little booklet and put it in the school library for other people to read. I have no idea if it’s still there, but I’d have to think not.

  • Why do you write?

Because if I didn’t my heart would break.

  • How do you find time to write?

I put aside time every day for it. In the mornings is my preference. Two hours, an hour or fifteen minutes – whatever time I have – and I try to give myself a word count that makes sense for that time frame. When I’m working on something, I aim for 2,000 words a day with weekends off.

  • When and where are the best times to write?

‘Where’ = anywhere that I can set up a laptop. I prefer an ergonomic setup, but I’ve written whole novels hunched over in the passenger seat on a road trip with my mum. I’ve spent more than my fair share of time writing in coffee shops while travelling. ‘When’ = mornings are the best time to write because that’s when I have the most spoons

  • Favorite food/drinks while writing?

Iced lattes are synonymous with writing time for me. That or flavoured water. I don’t like to eat while I’m writing because if I’ve got stuff on my fingers then it makes the keyboard gross.

  • Your writing playlist?

I listen to ambient sounds from a coffee shop because it makes me feel like there are other people writing/working around me.

  • What do family/friends/loved ones think of you writing?

My family seems to like what I write.

  • Parts of writing you enjoy the most?

When I write something and it reads the way that I imagined it in my head.

  • Parts of writing you find challenging?

I had a lot of trouble a few years ago with an editor who kind of gaslighted me. Now I find it really challenging to look at my writing with an objective eye; my knee-jerk reaction is to assume that it is unsaleable, unpublishable nonsense – especially if it’s a story that I like, because she trained me not to trust my own judgement. I have to push through those feelings at the beginning of every writing session. But once I’m through that part, I tend to be ok.

  • What do you write with and on?

I have a macbook air with a battery so f**ked that it needs to be constantly plugged in to function.

  • How do you overcome writer’s block?

I start every new project with a strong chapter outline (hangover from my ghostwriting days when every chapter had to be confirmed and approved before writing began) so I can write out of order if I have to. If I’m blocked, then I just move onto another scene that I can see clearly. By the time I’m done, my subconscious has worked through the scene that was giving me trouble and I can return to it at my leisure.

  • How do you motivate yourself to write?

I remind myself that I always feel good after I’ve completed a writing session, even if it’s like pulling teeth when I’m in it.

  • Authors who inspire you as a writer?

When I read Stephen King’s On Writing, I really liked the way that he approached writing as a creative job – meaning that he went to work every morning and didn’t let himself f*** around because writing is an important part of his life and deserves respect. From him, I learned that gentle, consistent effort is much more useful for a writer than random bouts of inspiration or a muse who may not show up. Now, when I read about writer’s daily routines, I tend to gravitate to those who approach their art with discipline and care, rather than those who float around until they’ve got an idea.

  • Books that inspire you as a writer?

Lord of the Rings is a testament to how self-indulgent a story can be and still make people love it.

  • Best advice you’ve gotten as a writer?

Omit needless words – Strunk and White, Elements of Style. Also, everything Stephen King wrote in On Writing because, like I said before, he approaches it like a job and doesn’t mince words about what he thinks of writers who don’t.

  • Writing goals this year

I’ve written one novel this year. It was a bit of a blood-letting, something to get some of the gunk out of my head, but I liked the final result. I’d like to write at least one more before December. An academic one, this time.

PS – I love writing and I love eating! If you want to help with the latter (and ONLY if you want) you can maybe buy me a coffee? 


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