Here is a sneak preview of comments I made in the free ranging interview that I conducted with Mary Jo Campbell of Writer’s Inspired. The full interview will post Tuesday (March 23) morning at 10 a.m. CDT, after which you can post comments if you’d like:
ON EARLY CAREER: “My formal training took place in the real world – and through reading voraciously, in all genres, from the time I was very young. In 1977, when I was 17, I was hired as a sportswriter by the Blade-Tribune (now North County Times) in Oceanside, CA. My editors, Bill Missett and Steve Scholfield, were true old-schoolers: get in and out of the story, get quotes, get two independent sources to verify every fact. Accuracy and unique angles meant everything to them. And making deadlines. I use that training every day. Also, they let me write for all sections of the paper, which enabled me to become a versatile writer.”
ON WRITING PROCESS: “I do not look back once I start each day. I write for four or five hours, then touch up what I wrote. The next day, I repeat this process. I find it incredibly self-defeating to continually self-edit in the middle of a writing session. It’s like giving the inner censor license to kill – which it will. It will kill your creative process. But for me, it’s important to look over what I wrote after the day is complete. When a draft is done, I rewrite it once from scratch, then move into revision and polishing edits.”
ON CREATING THE WRITE TIME: “I’m a fast writer, with a tendency to be very impatient, so it surprised both my friends and me that I would take 10 years to compile a book. The Write Time never started as a book idea. It started as writing exercises I cooked up for the workshops that I teach around the country. One day in 2007, I sat down and realized that there were more than 250 of these exercises, all created for workshops – and, more importantly, all field-tested by the workshop participants. They liked the story-telling aspect to the exercises and the content very much, so I thought, ‘Why not add 116 exercises and make a one-a-day book about it?’ Those last 116 exercises were by far the hardest to write.”
Check out the full interview Tuesday, March 23 at http://writerinspired.wordpress.com.
To order The Write Time: 366 Exercises to Fulfill Your Writing Life