Fifteen days ago ( look I can count!) I posted the link and details about the 30 Day Know Thyself Challenge for all writers wanting to get published. You can read my post on this here.
These are my answers for days 1 thru 15. I promise I don’t drone on for eight years. I KNOW, you’re looking at how long the answer to number one is, but it’s the longest one – I swear!
Only rule: no yawning. I will find you. Just kidding (you had better hope).
DAY 1 QUESTION: What do you consider your greatest strength as a writer?
ANSWER: I’m going to go with my sense of humor, spread evenly without. Even when the brutal gets downright disgusting and depressing, I feel leaving a pinprick of light is a must. No one should ever feel completely alone, deserted, or worthless. But if they do, they’ve got to have a good outlook on life and say, hey – I’m breathing, I’ve got another chance, and I still have all my hair. So…that being an aspect of my writing style, I’m going to say that ‘said style’ is my greatest strength. I guess. I don’t know. I’d want someone else to read it and tell me what my greatest strength is. It is mostly up to the reader, isn’t it? It’s either that or my imagination and intense feel for human emotions. I’m pretty good at putting myself in all different kinds’ of people’s minds and understanding why they are the way they are and why they feel the way they feel. Did I just say I think I have more than one greatest strength?! Wow…this is not a brag people – do not be mistaken – this is my utter confusion as to the correct answer.
DAY 2 QUESTION: What is your biggest writing weakness, and what do you think you need to change to work on it?
ANSWER: Second guessing myself and my writing. I am a horrible judge of what other people think of my writing. I often write something that comes to me – then delete it because I second guess my voice. Someone will come up behind me, read it, and tell me it’s good. I’m sitting there going, ‘really?’ I also tend to add too many characters and have to edit them out. I’m making myself think about that one, this go around. Characters must have a strict purpose! If not, they’re staying in my head. Oh – and my author bio! My little sister could write a better one for me! That sums that up.
DAY 3 QUESTION: What’s the BEST writing advice you ever received?
ANSWER: Write something you’re passionate about or don’t write at all.
DAY 4 QUESTION: What tends to serve as the most reliable source(s) of inspiration for you?
ANSWER: Music. Movies. Books. People. Tragedy. Love. Quotes. Paintings. Desire.
DAY 5 QUESTION: What do you hope a reader will take away from your writing?
ANSWER: Happiness. Inspiration. Hope. I would want them to know that finding out who they are is important. To know that there are people out there who struggle with what is inside of themselves. I would want my readers to understand that no matter how ugly a situation is, there is always hope and always something to work towards, to focus on and to hold onto. There is always a reason to laugh. To smile. I want my writing to make people think. What makes someone a monster isn’t what they are but who they are, and how they deal with what they are given.
“The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.”-Joseph Conrad
That being said, I write paranormal fiction. Go figure.
DAY 6 QUESTION: What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of being a writer?
ANSWER: Everything I learn as I go. Things I’ve tried I wouldn’t have if not for the purpose of writing. The way I look at people, experiences, and truth. Knowing I have the unknown in my future.
DAY 7 QUESTION: Do you find that inspiration to write happens organically, or do you sometimes feel that you need to seek it out?
ANSWER: I find that I’m inspired by almost everything around me; the good, the bad, the mediocre, and the just plain confusing and jumbled. If I need inspiration, I research something I’m interested in or find new music. Most of the time it comes on its own.
DAY 8 QUESTION: How old were you when you started writing? What did you write?
ANSWER: In first grade I, Daphne, was an X-Men addict. In fact I was Rogue that Halloween. So when my teacher decided we all needed to write a book for a project, many X-Men characters found their way into my writing. I have to say my writing was spastic and jumped around like a raindrop on the freeway. I might have also stole a line from the movie “Ever After”. The story consisted of a girl being kidnapped and saved. No, I do not know why my mother cannot find A SINGLE COPY of the disastrous blackmail anywhere.
DAY 9 QUESTION: Do you feel that you have found your voice in your writing? Or are you still searching?
ANSWER: Yes. No, not really – it found me. Dirty little stalker.
DAY 10 QUESTION: What are your favorite and least favorite parts of the writing process?
ANSWER: Least favorite; waiting. Favorite; writing the rough draft. The emotions just flow right out and everything comes to life for me. Besides, I normally don’t know what’s going to happen next until I write it.
DAY 11 QUESTION: How much of your writing time is purely research?
ANSWER: I’d say it’s about half and half. I research before I begin writing but then I also pause writing for a week or so and research what comes as it comes. Then there’s research that research leads to (just because it’s interesting) and so on and so forth.
DAY 12 QUESTION: What is the last book, story, or poem you read that had an effect on your writing? Are you a better writer for having read this work?
ANSWER: I’d have to go with Fair Game by Patricia Briggs. It was the last book that I read that really got me excited and wanting to create something as equally exciting. I love it when i find a book like that! It makes the whole writing process that much richer.
DAY 13 QUESTION: What motivates you to keep writing?
ANSWER: I love it! I’ve never wanted to not write. It fulfills some need inside of me. It’s something I’m most passionate about. I crave it. I don’t really know how to describe it; it’s simply a complicated part of who I am. Its part of my identity and that alone motivates me to never give it up.
DAY 14 QUESTION: Share with us your strategies for overcoming writer’s block.
ANSWER: Sometimes I work on the second novel I have going at the same time. Taking a break always puts my writer’s blocked story back into perspective. That’s why I work on more than one novel at a time. It’s that fresh, haven’t touched this story in a while, let’s delve back into this totally different world and see where it takes me, feeling. Music is a big help, too. It’s so easy to get lost in an amazing song. Most of the time, I simply sit down, jot down where I’m at in my writing, and then list things that could happen to make it worse or what scenarios could happen next. It really depends on what I’m having a problem with and why. And what mood I’m in. I do a lot of thinking (fantasizing).
DAY 15 QUESTION: What writer or teacher most influenced your work?
ANSWER: There isn’t really a specific one, in all honesty. I’ve taken away so many different things, so many different aspects, from different authors. No one inspired me more than the other because they all had different things to offer.
(In another 15 days, I will post the last half of the questions and my answers.)
In the movie “The Replacements”, coach tells Keanu Reeves that he reminds him of a duck on a pond. Topside, he looks calm and untroubled. But beneath the water, his little feet are going ninety miles per hour.
To use his saying in only one facet of our lives, are you just another duck on the pond? With tons of questions and answers flying around in your mind? Would it be simple to answer these questions? Or would you have to think on them? Do you feel they’re even important? What would your answers be? Do you believe the answers to some of these questions keep you afloat on doubting waters? Or are you as calm and cemented in knowing yourself as you appear to be above the water?