Interview with a Writer

I'm working on a few interviews for December and it has me thinking.

First of all, I love love love interviews. I do. I absolutely love talking about my books in a way that is not annoying.

Like, the people I know.... even Zach.... it's not like I can go on and on and on talking about my books.

Come on, it gets irritating after a while and people misconstrue it as talking about myself. When in reality, it's more like I'm talking about a child of mine.

Does that make sense?

Even though, I know that parents get obnoxious too when they go on forever about their kiddos.

But so do dog owners, ok. Don't think I am immune to how you treat your dogs like children and tell just as many stories about them. I'm on to you!


Anyway, the whole point is that I really try to avoid becoming that person. The one that's obsessed with themself. (I don't think that's proper grammar right there, but I'm going to just go ahead and leave it anyway....)

But in an interview I get to say as much as I want! That's the whole point of the interview.

Still, even in interviews I have to really work at not being sarcastic with every answer. Lord, in life I have to work at that. Everything with me is a joke. And usually if it's not a joke, I probably intended it to be one and it was misconstrued as serious and so I'm just rolling with it for the sake of avoiding that awkward moment when I have to thank them for sharing their life story with me, but in reality I was just kidding...

That has happened to me so many times.


And even though I think that most people would get that I'm joking in an interviews, I also don't think anyone is reading it for my stand-up routine either.


I need to get it out of my system... Like now.

I'm conducting an interview with myself. Obviously this is meant to be funny, but at the same time... It's mostly truth too! Perception is everything. Like EVERYTHING online... and it drives me crazy. Not because I fault other people for making the best of their online persona... but because I really, honestly, truthfully, prefer to be perceived exactly how I am. And if that means I look like a crazy person online, well then good, because I am a crazy person. I am the utter definition of chaos. I don't have it together, I don't ever think I will have it together and the last thing on earth I feel like I am is a professional. And even though I am writing this to you now, I can't very well do that in an interview. I'm pretty sure the blogger would be sorely disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I answer honestly, always, but I do strive to sound like a grown up.

Good news for you, is that I don't have to sound like a grown up on my blog. It's my blog, I can do whatever I want. (<-- See?? Point and case.) :) So here it goes. Here are the real answers to my interview questions. Or at least the alternate answers. What is your writing process? Ok, I know what the question wants... like how do I go about putting a plot together and come up with story lines and all that. And while there is a process to all that... The real truth to the answer is this. I wake up in the morning and get all the kids dressed while Zach is getting ready. I don't however, get myself ready. This is very critical to my writing process. It's possibly a very little known fact, but actually writing is best when you are in your pajamas. And it's even better when your pajamas are several days old. I cannot write without caffeine. Literally, I think this is a disease.... My eyes go crossed, my fingers stop working and I end up staring at the screen like IT has all the magical answers, when in fact they are just sitting at the bottom of a cup of coffee. Chocolate, while beneficial to writing, is also kind of annoying and it makes my keys all sticky, but I'm still not willing to give up that addiction either. Also. I have to write barefoot. Even socks bother me. It makes no sense, and I can force myself to write with shoes on... but I'm most productive when I'm barefoot. And right now only two of my ten toes are painted... and they're not painted very well and this is distracting. But if I can work through all of that then I can get down to plot and substance and actually making something happen. What inspires you? I'm probably pretty honest when I answer this question for real.... but I don't ever stress the extent of what inspires me. Because it is literally EVERYTHING. Like everything. It doesn't take much to make my creative wheels start spinning. It could be an introduction to someone new and I like their name and suddenly in my head I have this whole character with a plot line and it's just based off this one name. I'm really, really inspired by nature.... Which sounds SO freaking hippy that I always keep this one to myself. But it's the truth. When we drove down to Louisiana two weeks ago, I got some serious work done. Zach drove and I wrote and with all the beauty of the South, it was impossible not to feel inspired. PS. Arkansas is one of the most beautiful states I have ever been to!! It's gorgeous there. Absolutely gorgeous. But cornfields are pretty to me... so don't just take my word for it. Also, music. I am obsessed with every kind of music genre out there. Save for complicated jazz and maybe screaming hard core stuff. I have been known to repeat a song for an entire night when it's especially inspiring. Case in point: The Funeral by Band of Horses. One of the most inspiring songs ever. Any suggestions for aspiring writers? Yes. Get some tough skin and get it quick. This is the number one piece of advice I have. But I usually say, finish the book you're writing. Obviously, both are important. You may be a writer just by writing, but until you finish your manuscript you can't do anything about that career you want. But the tough skin is the best advice I can give... because no matter what you write, that piece of work is attached to you. It's like a part of you or an extension of you. It's like your children only if you never cut the umbilical cord. Seriously that cord connects you to your work and all of your hopes and dreams and sensitive feelings and ability to get hurt. It's all there! And then you take that carefully wrapped package of self-esteem, vulnerability and self-worth and you put a price on it and SELL IT!! And then you get to hear everybody else's opinion of it. Which sometimes is the most amazing thing in the world... And sometimes people call your baby Poisonous Sludge. (Which has actually happened to me.) It's all a learning experience. And I will defend negative reviews to the death because seriously I learn so much. But let's get real, they still suck. Nobody wants to hear they are terrible at the thing they love most in life, I mean that's human nature. But it's GOING to happen. There is absolutely NO getting around that. Even Harry Potter has critics. So listen always, but know when to let it roll of your back. Most importantly though, keep a strong stash of chocolate ice cream and tequila for emergency melt downs. And finally.... What is your biggest fear as a writer? Oh this question could have so many answers. So. Many! Especially coming from me, the Queen of All Fears. But, honestly, let's get super super honest.... My biggest fear is that I'm going to become something like the Hunchback of Notre Dame!!!! That's right, I'm terrified of my hump.... my hump.... my lovely lady hump freaking ugly writer's hump. Maria Bamford is a comedian and she is always talking about her Diet Coke Hump. And she is hilarious. But I knew exactly what she was talking about the first time I heard her call it that because I have one. It's right in between my shoulder blades and I blame years and years of an addiction to diet soda. It's probably a poisonous tumor pressing down on my spine or something, but for now let's just call it my hump. And now I'm a writer and I'm hunched over a computer all day and sometimes I can't write for two full days because there is this pain back there that I swear is my hump growing, expanding, even stretching out to my shoulderblades... I have nightmares of this thing just becoming grotesquely huge and confining. One day Zach won't even be able to leave the house with me because he'll have to hide me in the basement to keep from scaring all the neighborhood children!! And at that point I'll just let my hair grow out of control, to play the part of course and I really will take on the roll of that Scary Old Lady that get's played pranks on at Halloween and moms make their children cross to the other side of the street to avoid.

Yep. Biggest Fear. Ever.

And obviously, it's terrifying.

But it's not enough for me to stop writing... so whew.


Phasellus facilisis convallis metus, ut imperdiet augue auctor nec. Duis at velit id augue lobortis porta. Sed varius, enim accumsan aliquam tincidunt, tortor urna vulputate quam, eget finibus urna est in augue.

No comments:

Post a Comment