This is the weekly feature where I take time to answer any questions asked of me, about writing or anything else that comes to mind. This week, Juni Desireé asked:
Why do you write?
I write because for me, stories are as necessary to life as air. As soon as I learned to put words to paper, I’ve loved the act of writing. I’ve tried sharing my stories through many other mediums, but writing will always be the form that comes most easily to me.
What is the value of keeping a journal/writer’s notebook?
I mostly use journals to keep track of my ideas. If I didn’t have a place to write them down in a coherent manner, I don’t think I’d ever be able to remember them all. In fact, I have two. My main journal is for keeping track of all the details I’ve already established, but I also have a smaller notebook I keep in my car in case an idea comes to me while I’m away.
Where do you find inspiration?
I consider myself extremely fortunate in that practically anything can inspire me. But when I know I am looking for inspiration, I’ll usually grab my encyclopedia and flip through the pages until I come across something interesting. I like to go into really fine detail when world-building, and learning how things as mundane as weather patterns and geology work in real life is often enough to help me visualize what I need in the kingdom of Brigard.
What do you write?
I primarily write fantasy stories of varying lengths. Since the majority of these stories are all part of my Brigardine series, this has required a lot of world-building from me. But as I mentioned earlier, that aspect of writing is one of my favourites and so it rarely poses a problem.
When I’m not working on a novel, I usually fill the time by writing poetry. As far as poetry is concerned, I think I’m best at shorter forms such as haiku or sonnets, but I did try my hand at an epic once.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?
This question’s a bit tricky to answer, since I’ve never been directly given any writing advice. However, I do have a story that I like to think counts as advice in a roundabout way.
In my last year of high school, I had an English teacher who thought very highly of my writing. When it came time to ask for letters of recommendation for college, I naturally went to her. When she asked what I would be studying, I told her I would be attending a college for video production. To paraphrase her response, she – somewhat disappointed – told me that I should try to find a way to incorporate my writing abilities in my future career.
I consider this writing advice because I’ve always looked at it as a way of telling me I shouldn’t give up on my passions just to please those who didn’t think as highly of me.
What writing advice would you give to others who want to write?
That would depend on who was asking. If someone wanted advice for publishing, I would say do not self-publish unless you know you can market yourself. Trust me, it is far more difficult a task than it sounds.
As far as general writing advice goes, do not wait around for inspiration to strike. If you want to write, you have to actually start getting words out of your mind. Some days, you’ll have to force yourself to sit at your desk (or wherever else you write) and you might not even get anything done. But even then, actively trying to write and failing is still more productive than toying with the idea of writing.
What does writing mean to you?
To me, writing is breathing life into a new world. Someday, I hope that my stories will inspire others to imagine and create. It is a lofty goal, I know, but you know what they say about shooting for the stars. Also, not to sound too money-focused, but I would like to someday support myself with my writing.
Do you have any questions for me? If so, I’d love to hear from you! Any questions can be sent to me either as a comment here or through my email, firstname.lastname@example.org.