I’m thrilled to introduce Peter Andrews to the lagoon today for a different sort of Guy Day interview. Peter has been writing and earning a living at it (!!!) for many years. He keeps a blog on how to write fast, and teaches online courses on the same subject. A writer, hubby, great dad, and all-around good guy, he even makes dinner!
It’s exhausting work, let me tell you! So, first, let me offer the nice man a drink with an umbrella… and let the questions roll!
1. What if you finally can sit down to write and realize you can’t get started?
Starting is dependent on preparation. Before you finish writing each day, you need to determine what you will work on the next day (or next definite session). This is a promise to yourself. And you keep it. You can still do other things, but you need to commit to work forward.
2. What if you’re suddenly not in love with your book?
Everyone falls out of love with their books. Occasionally, a book is just a bad idea. So be it. Usually, though, we forget why we love the book. The passion fades. I always write out why I MUST write the book before I do more than a few pages. Ten or more reasons. In complete sentences. Designed to persuade me to persevere. It almost always works.
3. Susan profiled your “bagel” practice for unknown words in an earlier post. Is there a story behind this? (pretty please?)
When I was writing a lot of science articles that were jammed with facts, I kept coming to screeching halts. I lost my momentum, over and over again, as I looked up names, dates, places, and materials. I realized I needed a placeholder that would be unlikely to be in my final copy. Bagel was born.
4. Do you have a “think positive” mantra that gets you going in the morning? Susan says you get up at the same time as her (she has to be up at 5:30 a.m.) and you’re already working when she comes into the kitchen at 6:15. Are you secretly a machine?
Well, it could be the Puritan genes, but I think I just have found work that I am passionate about. Writing is what I was born to do. (it’s true)
5. What’s the most you’ve ever written in a week?
I don’t know. I’d estimate 15,000 words. Not heroic, but exhausting for me.
6. What are you most proud of?
It changes. I am delighted by the script and the novel I just finished. But I have also gotten a real thrill out of writing a speech and hearing laughter (or seeing tears) as it’s delivered.
7. Do you have plans for the blog you run? www.howtowritefast.blogspot.com
The blog will keep going. It already has led to courses (an online version begins on Monday), and, eventually, I’ll edit up the material from these into a book.
Peter’s blog offers every writer ideas for increasing their output. Find it at http://howtowritefast.blogspot.com.
He is also teaching an online course this month at http://www.yosemiteromancewriters.com/workshops.
Thanks, Peter! The Mermaids are all clapping their fins and splashing around, now you’ve given them the keys to How To Write Fast!