Hey everyone! Got a pretty fun comment from the wonderful Sam over at Taking on a World of Words the other day nominating me for Confessions of a Writer Tag! Now, I have to admit that I have had a love/hate relationship with these types of things in the past: I hate that I love them.
Hate is a pretty strong word. Maybe I could back off of that a little bit. That was back in college when I thought I knew everything. Now I realize these things have some pretty awesome networking potential. Not to mention it makes for an easy post ;) Finally, they’re pretty damn fun. So before I get into this Confessions of a Writer Tag post, another big thank you to Sam for the nomination and another thank you to Nicolette at A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly for creating this awesomeness!
As is the case with these things, an explanation of the game and its rules are in order:
Confessions of a Writer Tag created by Nicolette at A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly. It is a ‘get-to-know’ the writer interview tag, dedicated to spotlighting the creative process, works in progress, and connecting to other writers.
- Please link back to the original post at A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly so that the rules are always accessible to anyone who is curious and/or wants to participate.
- Acknowledge the person who tagged you!
- Tag your friends and fellow writers – it is up to you how many.
Now that we have all that “rule” stuff out of the way we can finally get down to the meat of this thing! Be careful though, the World Health Organization just announced that meat can lead to cancer. But, I’m pretty sure Bacon is worth the risk and so is this post!
**Disclaimer: This post will not lead to cancer… or bacon.**
- When did you first start writing? Was being a writer something you always aspired to be?
I very vividly remember writing my first story on the family room floor when I was around six or seven. I spent hours on that first story and excitedly handed the fistful of notebook pages filled with childish scribble to my mom immediately upon its completion. As a good mother is apt to do, my Ma sat right down and read the thing from beginning to end. Just seeing her read it was enough to make me want to keep writing. Its a desire I have harbored in the back of my mind ever since.
2. What genre do you write?
I find myself burying myself within the ever-popular zombie genre. Which, in my opinion, has garnered enough popularity to become its own genre. In the past I have dabbled in eco-journalism and brooding politically focused essays. Obviously you can throw blogging in there for what it’s worth!
3. Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress? When did you start working on this project?
I like to describe my current work-in-progress as a “post-modern coming of age story.” It sounds a little bit more reputable than just saying it’s a zombie novel, but if my character’s post-modern coming of age just so happens to occur five years after the zombie apocalypse… who am I not to tell it? Unfortunately it’s taken me nearly four years to get halfway through telling that story. I’ll finish it though. Someday…
4. What was the first piece you remember writing? What was it about?
I’m beginning to think that maybe I should have breezed through the questions before starting. I guess I already mentioned the first piece that I remember writing. That epic tale involved a fighter pilot (obviously) who had been shot down behind enemy lines, captured and interrogated – unsuccessfully I might add – before making a daring escape from prison. I more or less considered it my preemptive autobiography at the time. I later learned that to become a fighter pilot you have to be super smart and if you succeed there is a pretty solid chance that the enemy will actually shoot back at you. Hence I find myself working as a Production Planner.
5. What is the best part about writing?
The best part about writing for me is that moment that you sit back from the computer after working, reading over what you just wrote and thinking, “Damn that’s good!” Subsequently, the shitty thing about writing is that you can spend weeks, months, even years between those moments constantly scrabbling up a hill of loose dirt trying to reach it again.
6. What is the worst thing about writing?
Damn. I seriously need to start reading ahead. See above. If the above does not satisfy then see the crushing sense of self-doubt and questioning all of the major (and minor) life decisions that lead to you fruitlessly bashing your head against the keyboard 90% of the days you write.
7. What’s the name of your favorite character and why? (This can be from a book by another author or from your own work. Book crushes are perfectly acceptable here as well.)
The name and character traits of Wolf Larson from The Sea Wolf by Jack London seriously made me question my heterosexuality. I say that only halfway jokingly. In all honesty though, I had never been so entranced by a character as I was by Wolf Larson the first time I read that novel. And the fact that his name was Wolf so perfectly encapsulated everything that that character was both physically and in terms of personalty that I will never forget the power a character’s name can have on a readers continued perception.
8. How much time a day/week do you get to write? When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?
9. Did you go to college for writing? Or if you haven’t been to college yet, do you plan to?
I don’t have a degree in Creative Writing, but my Bachelor’s degree is in Literature. I didn’t technically chose Literature because I wanted to write – actually I avoided the Creative Writing degree because I thought a Literature degree would be more marketable (see above photo). That said, the things I learned in college greatly shape my writing today.
10. What bothers you more: spelling errors, punctuation errors, or grammar errors?
Definitely spelling errors. Proper semi-colon usage and dangling participles can go play in traffic for all I care. Spell check and Google are, at least, easy to use. Spelling errors are indicative of laziness in my opinion. I can’t stand laziness.
11. What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?
Unfortunately I don’t follow the best writing advice I’ve ever been given but hopefully someone reading this might: Treat your writing like it’s your job, even if you never make a dime doing it. It’s the only way you’ll see consistent improvement and satisfaction.
12. What advice would you give to another writer?
If you really want to be serious about it, you need to create a world for yourself with as few distractions as possible. This means different things for different people but every writer will know exactly what I mean.
13. What are your favorite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips or encouragement?
I don’t really follow a lot of writing blogs or visit many writing sites but I have two podcasts that really seem to butter my creative biscuit. A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment by Jess Walter and Sherman Alexie and Writing Excuses headed by fantasy author Brandon Sanderson will get you jonesing to writer regardless of any work deadlines you may have to meet.
14. Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?
Physical fitness is super important to me. So is beer. Unfortunately those things aren’t exactly mutually beneficial. My other hobbies include playing with my kitten, spending quality time with my fiancé (it is here I should mention that this are in no particular order), as well as constantly being a tourist and exploring my great state of Washington.
15. What is the best book you’ve read this year?
The Martian by Andy Weir. Because you know, science.
16. What is the best movie you’ve seen this year?
I just saw Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies last weekend with my fiancé and future in-laws and have to say it was stellar. I had a hard time believing that this was Spielberg’s best moving since Saving Private Ryan but leaving the theatre I was a believer. That said, I have tickets to Star Wars: The Force Awakens hanging on the front of my fridge and I can already guarantee that will be the movie of the year.
17. What is your favorite book series of all time?
I’d say A Song of Ice and Fire if GRRM would ever FINISH HIS DAMN SERIES!
18. Who is your favorite author?
This is an incredibly tough question, but currently I’d have to say Jess Walter. The level of heart-wrenching snarkiness he can attain is truly awe-inspiring. GRRM is a begrudged second favorite if only for my immense respect for his (and his beta readers’) ability to keep everything straight.
19. What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?
For the first time ever I think I’m going to commit myself to NaNoWriMo. I feel like I need to clip a car battery to my novel to get it motivated again. I’m beginning to have that “if not now then when” feeling creep into the pit of my heart. I want to try and avoid that outcome as much as possible.
20. What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?
Be sure to check out my sidebar for links to the Wanna-Be Writer Facebook page, as well as my personal Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads accounts. And, if you’re into the retro thing you can always hit me up in the comments below are at firstname.lastname@example.org!