Please welcome Lauren Bjorkman, author of My Invented Life and Miss Fortune Cookie. Leave a comment to win a copy of her new book!
What's your best advice for fellow writers?
Write all the time. The more you write the better you get. Which brings me to the obvious follow up question: How does a person keep one’s butt in the chair (without resorting to adhesives)?
- Write what you want to write. Forget about the market.
- Think about your story while doing other things—driving the car, cleaning the kitchen, showering, etc. When you finally get to sit down to write, you’ll be ready to go.
- Describe your story to others. When I try to summarize my WIP, it gets me excited about the story, again, and often gives me new ideas.
- Set goals. Give yourself rewards for reaching them. Whenever Franz Kafka reached his writing goal, he would treat himself to a pineapple upside down cake. Be like Franz.
- Join a critique group.
- Read a truly amazing book (Jealousy is an awesome motivator).
What popular writing advice do you never follow?
Write what you know. It is much more interesting to write about things I’m ignorant about. Research is fun and inspiring.
Where do you do most of your writing?
I used to write in bed on a laptop. My cats would keep me company. It all started with living on a sailboat and having to complete 3rd, 5th, and 6th grade from my bunk. I continued working in bed through HS and college.
Unfortunately, for the past two years a tweak in my upper back has forced me to sit in an ergonomic chair at a desk. My office measures almost 7 by 9 feet, which sounds spacious until you shoehorn in a desk with drawers, a filing cabinet, a dresser, two bookcases, and an exercise machine. The door is my favorite feature. I surround myself with inspiring photos and objects while I work. I have a special cushion for my bare feet, plus a radiant heater under my desk to stay cozy in the winter.
What's the best book you've read lately on the craft of writing?
Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller by John Truby. When I applied his exercises to a half-finished novel, they helped me organize the plot, clarify the role of my characters, and expand conflict to make key scenes more powerful. I spent two weeks revamping taking notes, which made writing the second half easier. Note: Easier ≠ easy.
Find out more about Lauren & her books at: http://laurenbjorkman.com
Please leave a comment to win a copy of Miss Fortune Cookie by Lauren Bjorkman!