One of the blogs I always look forward to reading is Kristen’s Little Lodestar. Last week, she posted a series of questions: Nine Things I Wonder About Other Writers. Q&A time:
- Do you share your work with your partner or spouse? Does it matter if it’s been published yet?
My husband reads everything I write. In fact, he’s read this. I share my blog posts, essays, columns, flash fiction—before and after publication. Huh. Now that I’m writing this, I’m thinking how annoying that must be since he has limited time, too. Food for thought. He is an incredible support system, cheerleader, and proofreader when my eyes are glossed over at 1am and I’ve missed word. [“a” word] Isn’t he great?
- How much of your family and/or closest “friends in real life first” read your stuff…let alone give you feedback about it?
This is complicated. Family is always complicated. I’m curious to read other answers to this. As far as I know, very few family members and friends read my work. Well, you now know my husband reads my writing. One of my friends occasionally (I’m honestly not sure how often) reads my blog posts. My parents and grandmother read my Lifestyle columns. (My grandmother has a little scrapbook of my newspaper clips—love her!) However, my biggest fan, and editor, is my 8-yr-old son.
- What do you do with the pieces that continually get rejected–post on your blog? Trash? When do you know it’s time to let it go?
If I like a piece and it gets rejected, I won’t trash it. I keep it for a possible future opportunity or post it on my blog. I don’t submit as much as I probably should so, oftentimes, pieces sit on my computer. Waiting. Taunting me…
- Are there pieces you write for one very specific place that, once rejected, you just let go of, or do you rework into something else?
I’ve had pieces published after they’ve been turned down elsewhere but if I’ve written something very specific, I find it difficult to submit it to a different publication without a massive revision. I don’t like massive revision. I’ve tried it a few times but the piece loses much of what I loved about it to begin with if I try to make it more “humorous” or more “literary” or more “whatever-this-publication-wants”. It’s not genuine—it’s revised just to get published. I prefer genuine.
- What is your main source of reading-based inspiration (especially you essayists)? Blogs? Magazines? Journals? Anthologies? Book of essays by one writer?
Wow. This is like when someone asks me my favorite book or favorite wine. I just stand there. Like I’m doing now. Books. Just that. Generally, books. Also, blogs are a wonderful source of inspiration.
- What tends to spark ideas more for you: what you see/hear in daily life or what you read?
Definitely what I see and hear in daily life. I walk around this world writing in my head. I do. It’s weird. But there is so much out there that begs to be written about. The good, the bad, and the ugly—it’s all being recorded in my mind and I often write blog posts about what I’ve experienced. That being said, other blogs often spark an idea or memory that gets me thinking (and sometimes writing).
- Who have you read in the past year or two that you feel is completely brilliant but so underappreciated?
Oh, joy! *climbs up on soapbox* Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Children’s Lit. are so underappreciated by grown-ups and I don’t know why. There is some amazing writing out there in these genres. Go forth and grab a book not written for your age group. It’s fun.
- Without listing anything written by Dani Shapiro, Anne Lamott, Lee Gutkind, or Natalie Goldberg, what craft books are “must haves”?
Okay, so (“Bird by Bird”!) Stephen King’s “On Writing”. Austin Kleon, author of “Steal Like an Artist”, has a wonderful, little book chock full of awesomeness: “Show Your Work”. Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have written “The Emotion Thesaurus” among others. “Wrede on Writing” by Patricia C. Wrede is one I haven’t read yet but I adore her writing and expect this book is fabulous—it’s in my TBR pile.
- Have you ever regretted having something published? Was it because of the content or the actual writing style/syntax?
You let us off the hook for our “cringeworthy” pieces for which I am grateful because this post is getting a bit long. Style/syntax…yes. Is there someone who said “no” to this? I want to
be meet that person. I’m an online bartender so I don’t have many pieces I regret writing in the sense that I’ve changed my opinion or have offended someone. (Plus, let’s face it, we can offend someone by wearing bright red lipstick so I don’t worry about that too much. As an aside, I don’t wear bright red lipstick.) I do regret the pieces I’ve written that are a bit too personal—either about me or about my children.
I love these questions (and answers—both in the comment section at Little Lodestar and on other blogs, such as Nina Badzin, Lindsey Mead, and Lara Anderson).
Okay, readers of Lemon Shark, writers of anything and everything, what are your answers? Share them here, on the original post, or on your own blog. I look forward to reading them.