Did you ever hit a point where you wonder why you do what you do, how you got started in it, how you got where you are (wherever that is), what’s holding you back, and what’s pulling you on?
I don’t, but maybe you do.
ANYWAY, whether you do or you don’t, those aren’t bad questions to ask. And here’s an idea for coming up with questions: Go to interview sites. Copy the questions. Then answer them.
I’m thinking of author interviews, naturally; I’m pretty sure there are actor interviews galore; for all I know, there are sites that interview dog-catchers, trash collectors, cat-toy designers, and goat breeders. But I’m talking about authors.
WHAT BOOKS INFLUENCED YOUR STYLE?
Hard one. “All of them” isn’t really useful. See if you can pin it down. If you’re struggling with your voice, maybe you haven’t fully integrated your influences into yourself. Maybe you’re trying a voice that doesn’t work well with the kind of story you’re working on. Maybe a little smoothing, tweaking, or adjusting the mix will help.
WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A WRITER?
Well, when did you? Did you have an imaginary friend and suddenly realize you had made it up, like a character in a book? Did you have a school assignment that clicked? Did you read a novel and think, “Geez — I could do better than that!”?
WHAT BOOK DO YOU WISH YOU HAD WRITTEN AND WHY?
“Because it made a billion bucks” doesn’t count. What is it about that book that connects with you as a writer? What did the author accomplish that you want to accomplish?
You get the picture. By finding and answering interview questions, we might get in touch with all that mess in there that makes us the writers we are. If we do the interview for ourselves alone, we just might find out something about “the man behind the curtain” we’d just as soon not share, but can benefit (as writers and as people) from knowing.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Do like I’m tellin’ ya!
Dan AntionApril 17, 2017 at 7:24am
Is it sacrilege to wish to have written the Bible so I could tell a growing number of people how wrong they are? I guess it is. I’ll work on that.
Marian AllenApril 17, 2017 at 11:13am
That’s what the guys who finalized the Bible did, so you’d be in solid company, Dan.
Alicia Butcher EhrhardtApril 17, 2017 at 5:20pm
I’m endlessly self-analytical. In writing. I hope I don’t become famous, or someone will have to plow through those piles and files of journaling. I have kept a journal since I got out of the hospital Feb. 21 – and have over 60K worth of fairly detailed records. I knew I was going to need more ammo than ‘I don’t feel well.’
That doesn’t even count the organized stuff in the blog posts. If you’re a writer, sometimes you write about yourself. That’s my only excuse: I don’t necessarily KNOW myself that well, but it is certainly possible to record what I’m willing to own up to!
Marian AllenApril 18, 2017 at 7:52am
Alicia, it’s questionable how well any of us really know ourselves, no matter how self-analytical we are. I think it was Alice Friman who told me about this: There’s the ME I choose to show people (actually various public MEs, depending on the company and circumstances), the ME I know, the ME other people see (which, frighteningly, isn’t necessarily the one I think I’m showing them), and the ME nobody knows — not even myself.
JoeyApril 17, 2017 at 6:52pm
Interesting. My mind wants to play… but I don’t have the time, cause I gotta read mo blogs and call my father. But you can be sure, in quiet times, my brain will be playing at what I wished I’d written and what books inspired me to write.
Marian AllenApril 18, 2017 at 7:54am
I’m so backlogged on my blog reading! I’m working on a short story, and the reading period opens April 24 and only lasts about a month, so I have to bear down and work! Bleh! Yeah, let your brain play with those questions! Sounds like a couple of blog posts to me!