This past Saturday my internet writing friendo Kim Chance posted a Writer Tag video and asked other vloggers and bloggers to tackle it as well. I actually didn’t have a post set for this week because I was planning on taking some time off to recalibrate and really outline what my content would look like moving forward. But when the content is ready made for you, how can you say no?
Anyway, thanks to Kim for happening to deliver something to share, and here we go!
Writer Life Tag Questions
1. What do you eat or drink while writing?
I don’t usually eat while writing, but I usually drink water and some form of caffeinated beverage. Sometimes I drink wine while I write, but obviously I have to balance buzz vs drunk if I’m trying to get work done.
2. What do you listen to while writing?
I’ve generally stopped listening to anything while I write because it stops me from focusing as well. If I do listen to something, it’s usually relaxing music that doesn’t have words, like ambient music, maybe trance or lounge type stuff.
3. What is your biggest writing distraction?
Everything. That’s slightly melodramatic, but I do have a hard time focusing, even on stuff I want to work on, so the biggest thing is forcing myself to sit down and start working for more than like five minutes and not give in to my own thoughts or doubts. I’ve had several writing sessions where I’ve stopped and decided to do something else after not getting words down for a few minutes, so the trick for me is to get rolling enough that I can see a way to move forward and don’t fall into the lure of video games, social media, or whatever other time-waster.
4. What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you while writing?
I can’t think of anything bad having ever happened to me while I was writing specifically. In fact I’ve often used writing as a sort of therapeutic tool while dealing with bad or frustrating situations.
5. What’s the best thing that ever happened to you while writing?
Well, a couple of times I think I came up with some really interesting stories.
6. Who you communicate with or not communicate with while writing?
I have some friends who I write with from time to time. These are people who I’ve known for a few years (a couple for many many years) who just happen to share the passion of writing with me, and they write a variety of things from their own fiction to fan fiction. We started carrying the tradition of “write-ins” out of NaNoWriMo (which some of us compete in together) and now have those sort of gatherings on our own throughout the year.
Outside of that, I don’t really communicate with anyone while I’m working. I’m not the sort of person who can have Facebook Chat open and get work done at the same time.
7. What’s your secret to success and your biggest writing flaw?
I think having a clear vision of what’s supposed to take place in a scene is important. I at least need to have a kind of cinematic sense of the key moment, and then I can build around that. If I don’t have that, then I think taking some time to think about it and daydream it to life is important. (There are other “secrets to success” I could put here, but this is one I haven’t heard other people talk about before).
My biggest writing flaw is probably a lack of character description. I still find it somewhat difficult to integrate character descriptions seamlessly into text amid dialogue and setting features. When writing short stories this doesn’t matter as much, but I think for novels and series people really want to have a feel for what the characters look like. I’m also generally not good at writing physical descriptions, if I’m being honest.
8. What inspires you? Or what makes you productive?
Reading or watching other really great stories makes me want to tell my own. I want people to feel the same things I feel when I watch my favorite movies or TV shows or when I read my favorite novels or comics.
Generally I’m most productive when I have a good sense of what a scene looks like before I sit down to write it, when it’s the part of the story I really want to tell. I have a harder time with the bits that need to be there to make the plot work but weren’t part of what got me originally excited for the story idea.
9. What is one thing you do or other writers do that’s annoying?
I annoy myself sometimes (or often) by generating ideas that I find I have no interest in writing myself. They just end of being synopses for the sort of story I would love to read or watch, but not one I can bring myself to work on for whatever reason.
As for other writers, I find the whole “and then my characters spoke to me and made me change the story” thing some people go into a little tired, to be honest. I think what really happens is you generate better ideas when you’re in the flow of the story and decide to change course because you’ve discovered something more interesting. You’re characters don’t actually talk to you. If they do, maybe you should seek help…
10. Are you willing to share something you’ve written?
You can check out some short stories I’ve had published in the “Short Stories” section of this site. I also plan on having some excerpts from my upcoming serialized fantasy novel available soon, so keep tuned in here for more on that!
Thanks again to Kim Chance. You can check out her writer tag vlog below. If you write a blog, film a vlog, or want to throw your own answers down in the comments section of this post, feel free to do so. I’d love to hear about all of your writing lives!