This writer’s questionnaire comes from the blog Presents of Mind. Zephyr wanted to know more about writers and I thought this was a lovely way to find out all those little answers, A Questionnaire For Writers. I decided not to post a reply on her blog because I liked it so much for mine, but please, check out her blog. It’s really amazing, and any girl who has a Royal Deluxe herself, and loves fountain pens, has to be amazing.
So, onward. Enjoy.
1. Where do you write? I write wherever the mood strikes, though the bulk of my writing happens in my room where my laptop usually is. I find it easiest there as I have some semblance of privacy. However, I’ve been known to take my typewriter out to the front porch to type, and I like having notebooks around for when the mood strikes. I like writing at the kitchen table after I’ve eaten lunch and I’m sipping a cup of tea.
2. What are your writing habits? Writing habits?! When the mood strikes mostly, though I do attempt to write at night. When I finally get into bed is when I like to work on things. I have also made it a habit to work on writing on Tuesday and Friday afternoons when I have a couple of free hours. I really enjoy working on things in the day, and as I rarely have the time to, those days have become really enjoyable for that.
3. How do you write your first drafts? My first drafts always just start out with me writing what first comes to my head. For years it was the particular scene I was thinking about at the moment, now I try to work on the ‘back story’ or the first part of the plot. If I establish that part in my mind, many times I won’t forget the later things.
4. Subsequent drafts? As I have never finished anything, I don’t have any subsequent drafts, unless you count the short stories I’ve submitted. If so, then I usually just make a duplicate copy of the file and edit from there so that I have an original to look back on.
5. Do you keep a writing journal or notebook? I do I do. I finally started keeping better journals this past year and a half. Notebooks are everywhere. I want to collect them, but I’m trying to restrain myself. I love using my journal for daily things and thoughts, but I occasionally start a story, blog, poem, idea, in it. Though I tend to forget to go back to my journal for ideas. I’ve found it’s better if I keep writing things in their own notebooks, folders, or composition books.
6. How do your organize your journal/notebook? My journal is organized by date and post number. Basically I continually go forward with the date, and I number every post so I can refer back to it at a later date. As per notebooks, well I try to keep sections of the same idea or story within its own section, though I found that sometimes I start new subjects too close to the other sections so I run out of room. I’m trying to start an index of sorts for each notebook, but I have a feeling that it’s going to take too long. I have about five notebooks at the moment that have a handful of ideas in them. The best way to deal with organizing is to eventually type it up on the laptop and keep a file that way.
7. What’s your biggest challenge as a writer? Right now it is confidence to send off the darn query letter I’ve been working on. The second thing would be completely stories. Fortunately Children’s stories are a bit easier as they are much shorter.
8. Do you have a good luck talisman? What is it? Ah, I have one thing in particular I call my “good luck charm”, an Irish pignin (at least I think that’s how it’s spelled) It has a Hen and a few chicks on one side, an Irish harp on the other. As it is copper, I especially love it. My other charm might be my fountain pens.
9. Which writers have most influenced you or inspired you? For adult things, Emilie Loring, Zane Grey, and various other romance writers. For children’s books Patricia Polacco, Bill Peet, Dr. Seuss, Jill Barklem, and a bunch of other unknown authors.
10. What genre(s) do you (aspire to) write? My main genre that I’m working on is children’s picture books. An area I never thought I would consider. If not that, then romance fiction. As the fiction never gets finished, the picture books are a better thing to aspire to.
11. Any quirky habits you’ve developed? I don’t know if it’s quirky, but before I was really serious about all this, I took a book everywhere, now I have to have my pen and a notebook or piece of paper. I need those at all times. At the moment though, I can’t think of anything too quirky.
Are you inclined to learn by primarily by:
12. reading other writers you love? Very much so. People tease me at the library for checking out children’s books. And I’m always getting ideas of how to write something a different way from romance authors. I try to tuck all the ideas in my head.
13. using advice in writing books? Definitely will I use ideas. Had I not been open to that, I would not have started writing character profiles for my romance. There are various other things I’ve learned and I’m always on the hunt for another book that provides good writing advice.
14. workshops and/or classes? I would love to take either a workshop or class in writing of something. Just haven’t gotten around to it yet.
15. hard-headed trial and error? I’m pretty much in the trial and error stage right now. I’ll let you know how it goes.
16. a combination of these? Yes, definitely a combination.
17. some other method? I’m not sure I know of any other method. I read a lot of writing blogs, and I’m forever gleaning information from various sources. Just like my photography, I immerse myself in the craft at times. It depends on my mood. I don’t think I have to have the classes or workshops to make it, nor the writing books. Other authors made it without any of those. I use them as a tool, but I try not to get sucked into all the advice and trying to accomplish it all. I will have my way, and what will work for me.
So, there you have it! I can’t see how interesting this actually is, but I hope you all enjoyed.