In less than three weeks, I will be speaking at Write on the Red Cedar, a writing conference put on by my amazing writing group, Capital City Writers Association. The line-up includes the incomparable Donald Maass; authors, editors, and journalists like Kristina Riggle, Elizabeth Heiter, Natalie Burg, Lori Nelson Spielman, Chad Allen, Louise Knott Ahren, Kelly Rogers, Alyssa Alexander, Darcy Woods, Tracy Brogan, and my own husband, Zachary Bartels; indie publisher Tricia McDonald; and agents Nikki Terpilowski, Katharine Sands, and Ann Byle.
Today I answer nine questions about my own writing experiences and advice over on the Write on the Red Cedar blog…
1. What is the best writing advice you ever received?
Not long ago, I saw a little clip on YouTube of Anne Rice talking to aspiring writers and one of the lines that stuck out to me was, “Write what you want to be known for.” There is so much temptation to write what we think will sell. My own contacts through almost thirteen years of working in publishing are in a particular subset of the publishing world: Christian books. It is tempting, then, to write something with which I know my own publisher or another Christian publisher would find success. But I have never felt called to write the type of book I help to market as a copywriter. What I want to be known for is something else. So, while the road is rougher and feels like it’s all uphill, I have chosen to write novels that fit better in the general market than the Christian market.
2. What is the worst writing advice you ever received?
I have never been able to follow the pervasive advice to write every day. I can do it for a time when I’m drafting (I managed to keep it up for most of November as a participant–and winner!–of National Novel Writing Month in 2014) but once I type the last period of a draft, I can’t turn around and start writing the next novel the next day, even if I already have an idea of where I’m going with it. I need days off to let my well fill up again. I’m a believer in the need for Sabbath rest, both weekly and seasonally. Our culture is so harried compared to so many around the world, and I try, as much as I am able, not to let myself get sucked in completely.
To read the rest of this interview, click here!