I’m listening to a podcast called the Ten Minute Writers’ Workshop in which they interview seasoned writers. Nobody has any reason to be interested in my answers to these questions since I have nothing more than a few poems published, but I’m answering anyway. Someday, when I’m famous, someone will come back to this post and give a crap, yeh? Never know. And yes, I’m interviewing myself. I might interview some of my fellow writer or artist friends later, that’d be fun.
What’s harder the first sentence or the last?
Oh, the last, definitely. The first sometimes arrives in my head whole and ready. The last, that’s the thing you want the person to close the book or look away from the poem and stare off into space thinking about what you’ve just said for a good ten minutes, and then carry it around with them for at least part of the day. People fish around for a “hook” for ages, but for me it’s all about the resonance that stays at the end.
What’s the best advice you were ever given in a creative endeavor?
When I was learning oil painting, my painting teacher told me, “Don’t be afraid.” Which was her way of saying Just Do It. Sit down and put something on the canvas/page. What’s the worst that could happen, right?
What’s your best time of day to write?
I’m totally a morning person. Whatever I do first thing in the morning sets the tone for my whole day. If I put off writing till evening because of something else going on, I’m likely to either not do it, or not like what I’ve done.
Do you have any rituals for writing?
I’m made of rituals. I get up in the morning and do my Morning Pages/Journaling with a good black tea with cream and sugar at my bedroom desk, then (hopefully) I meditate, then I stroll down to my studio with a second cup of tea and get to work on whatever the current obsession is, usually either art, or currently writing my first novel. I turn on my little iCube speaker, put on thinking music — Jim Butler for brainstorming, my Epic Movie Music Pandora station for cranking out writing. I do the brainstorming first, then the writing, hopefully.
Plotter or Pantser?
Yes? I started NaNoWriMo with no option but to Pants it, and I really disliked it. I am now backing up and doing my plotting. BUT, that said, I think diving in and doing real time writing was important too. I intend to write some back story and interpersonal character scenes this month that may or may not ever make it into the book, but letting the characters actually function on the page makes things happen that pure outlining probably wouldn’t. So I think I’m in the process of developing a process.
What is your fantasy job other than writing?
Do I have to pick one? I wanted to be a horseback riding instructor when I was a teenager. I still would love to rescue and train horses. I want to be an artist, I want to illustrate children’s books, I want to do a little bit of everything in life. Oh, and who doesn’t want to be a National Geographic photographer?