Frequently asked questions
What is the most difficult part of the writing process?
I have two words written on a white board beside my desk. “Begin” and “Finish”. This is what is most difficult.
When the story is rushing forward and I am barely able to catch the words.
When I am working on a manuscript, I don’t read books. I rabidly watch films. And when I work on a film script, I don’t watch films. I devour books.
My writing space?
I have two work spaces:
1) A beautiful studio overlooking the canal. No phone, no email. It’s where I’m supposed to write.
2) A cramped upstairs half- story office. The only place to stand up straight is under the peak. My desk overlooks the street, which is under construction. This is where I write.
I know I’m preparing to write when I begin to feverishly clean my house. I have a perverse desire to have everything ordered, because I’m about to enter the disorder of my mind. Unfortunately, for my husband, I don’t recognize these ‘need to write’ symptoms until I’ve begun to repaint the room or am in the midst of reorganizing all the cupboards or re-positioning all pictures on the walls or moving all the furniture, only to move it back again. I seem to have a desire to make my real world larger. I want the walls back another six feet. Everything is too close. Other pre-writing symptoms include: crankiness, an unwillingness to speak, general restlessness, a heightened ability to hear but not listen, and a fixed inward gaze.
Writing tips or advice for writers?
Begin. Write. Edit. Edit. Edit. Read it. Edit. Give to someone you trust and respect. Listen. Give it to someone else. Listen. Write. Edit. Read. Write until nothing twinges in your heart. Don’t lie. Finish. Give it to the world. Hope it finds a champion.
If you don’t find a champion: maybe the timing is wrong, there are six other similar books being shopped, you are ahead of your time, you are behind your time, maybe you lied, maybe you have more to learn, maybe your champion will find it later, maybe this is not the story you are meant to tell. Set it aside. At this point you are allowed to curse and wallow, don’t become bitter. It is the practice of your art that is the reward. Move on. Begin.