Writer Life Tag

Borrowed from Kim Chance.

1. What do you eat or drink while writing?: Tea, fizzy juice, water, and that’s mostly it. Snacking tends to distract me, so I usually take a break when I need to refuel.

2. What do you listen to while writing?: Not much. I can’t focus with music on, but I do end up singing to myself when I’m feeling kind of pumped up. There are some old songs that I habitually sing when I’m alone and in the zone. I don’t really notice doing it.

3. What is your biggest distraction while writing?: The TV. If it’s on, I’m either making no progress, or very little. The only thing I can sort of ignore is Friends, because I’ve seen all of it a zillion times and I usually put it on for background noise while I’m cleaning or drawing.

4. What is the worst thing that has happened to you while writing?: So far? A couple of people didn’t love a short story I posted for feedback. Nothing bad has actually happened with regards to my writing. I realize that this is a very temporary state of affairs, and I am reveling in it while I can.

5. What is the best thing that has ever happened to you while writing?: I finished the first draft of my first novel. The truth is, it’s all sort of a personal triumph. I’m a perfectionist, and incredibly easily embarrassed, and the emotional effort involved in letting myself struggle through writing is kinda ridiculous. Talking about it is even harder, because I’m putting myself out there where judgement is unavoidable. Yay!

6. Who do you communicate with while you’re writing?: I chat and text with people a bit, usually my partners and my siblings. If I do it too much, though, I’m usually just procrastinating. I talk to my dogs a lot.

7. What is your secret to success, or your biggest writing flaw?: I haven’t put the writing down and not picked it up again. No matter what, that means I’ll eventually get somewhere. Biggest flaw, I’d say, is that I didn’t start when I was younger. I wish I had been writing when I was a teen, because I feel like I’d be way past the level of skill I’m currently at.

8. What is your inspiration/what makes you productive?: A weird combination of general defiance and a desire to reach out to other people who are going through experiences similar to mine. I was a lonely, depressed, pissed off kid, and even though my life is better now, I’ll always probably struggle with my mental health. Books have always been there for me, and they’ve helped me form healthier coping mechanisms and a wider world view.

9. What is one thing that you do, or other writers do, that is super annoying?: I complain about being stuck and then get cranky at people who give me advice, because they don’t know my life. In other writers, it bugs me a little when people talk about writing as if they’re not in control, like when they say their characters have minds of their own and won’t do as they’re told. It’s a valid approach to the creative process, because it clearly works for a lot of people, but I’m more inclined to call that making a difficult creative choice in order to make the story more effective or authentic.

My biggest flaw might actually be nit-picking, now that I think about it.

10. Are you willing to share something you’ve written?: I’m gonna be a smart-ass and point out that I wrote all these lovely responses. But no, I don’t really have anything in a state I’m ready to share right now. When I do, it’ll surely get posted here.

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