The erudite and purportedly flippant Lee-Anne (also champion of the written word, chooks and dogs) at Is It Just Me, has kindly asked me to join a blog hop answering a few questions on Why I Write.
So, here goes, and I’d love to know your answers to these questions.
How does my writing differ from others in my genre?
Genre? No idea what genre I belong in, novel wise. I’ve always been the round-peg in the square hole. Is there a genre for romantic comedy/suspense with a dark twist? The book covers in ‘romantic comedy’ don’t quite match my story. I will work on this…
Like Pinky Poinker, I could blame Monty Python and The Young Ones, (I’d add Absolutely Fabulous) for encouraging my differences.
But I’d also have to add the influence of my dear, one-of-a-kind scientist father who is somehow so culture/gender/race/sexuality-blind that everybody can relate to him. It’s something I aspire to, whether writing or not.
Should one write to a prescribed genre? I can’t control what comes out anyway, it’s a lot like having a tummy bug.
Why do I write?
Writing is caffeine for my soul.
When I’m pleased with how I’ve arranged my words, it feels sexier than chocolate and champagne in a hot tub with the man of my dreams. Probably because the happiness from writing is more attainable and lasts longer. Actually, now I’ve found this image …
Why do I write? Like the psychologist Dan Gilbert says – we, as individuals, are a work in progress that mistakenly think our identities and personalities are finished. We live under the illusion that the person we are now is who we will remain for the rest of our lives. The writing journey has liberated me from that illusion, it’s helped me unfurl. I love that word. UNFURL.
Writing is like showing the world my insides. That’s scary but writing is greater fun than this fear. It’s also about connecting with people. I’ve also learnt to toughen up, to take constructive criticism on board, but not to hang my self-worth or the equilibrium of my soul on external opinions. Still, it’s the biggest shot in the arm when someone tells me they really enjoyed Arafura and/or the humour in the story.
Writing and reading can decrease our sense of isolation. We are social beings and besides, it’s cheaper than therapy.
How does my writing process work?
My writing process sounds simple, yet in reality, is fraught. I try to clear my mind of the everyday. It helps if I meditate or listen to music that appeals to my soul. But it can take a couple of days to get in the right zone. It’s not writers block, it’s about feeling light-hearted enough to be funny, or playful perhaps, to find my voice, or the voices of my characters.
Coffee helps. Praise helps. Praise rockets me to the sparkly zone pretty damn quickly.
Then, when I’m there, as Ann Lamott explains – “It’s tea-time, and all the dolls are at the table. Listen. It’s that simple.”
Except, like a crazy-lady/ steam train that can’t stop, my characters keep talking to each other – and I scribble conversations on scraps of paper, or in my phone – at red lights, in the middle of the night, even dash in and out of the shower in case I forget. (I really am going to get a whiteboard for the shower.) I look like one of those people who can talk on their phone hands free, except I don’t even have a phone or the earpiece. See? Crazy.
Reading other authors broadens my writing process too. It’s reassuring to see a famous writer break a rule. But as my old-head-on-young-shoulders daughter tells me, “You have to know the rules to break the rules.”
What I’m working on.
I’m working on the second book in the Arafura series, Arafura – Unfinished Business, which should be published in a couple of months, or just as soon as I take my meds for editing disease. Here is the cover, designed by the talented Michelle Rene Goodhew. I think Michelle Rene has walked the fine line of illustrating a cover implying danger but also a more light-hearted element.
The first book is Arafura – Blood, the Wet and Tears.
For this blog hop, Why I Write, I would like to pass the baton to the inclusive, generous Su Leslie at Zimmerbitch: Age is just a (biggish) number. (who understands that age is relative – my Dad would get that!)
and the irrepressible and forthright Shelley Sackier who claims she is all of the below, but she forgot to add her positive aura. Shelley has previously written a post of this kind and her response is at Peak Perspective,
Here are some other links to the Why I Write blog hop, which may interest you:
and thanks again, Lee-Anne at Is It Just Me?
Why do YOU write?