ANNOUNCEMENT: There have been a few negative comments on my Facebook page, and I understand. Mostly it comes from people having very little to do in their lives. Luckily the admins and I have been deleting the comments. Generally, I follow the “be nice, be respectful” rule. If you don’t have anything constructive to say, want  to be an edge lord, or are just generally being an asshole for the sake of being “funny,” try shutting the fuck up for a change.

I do a lot to be supportive of people and their efforts in making things better, and while I don’t expect a medal for it, I do expect to be treated in kind. So if you can’t be a supportive person or offer constructive criticism, go away.

Disagreements are fine. In fact, they can be good for you, but going onto name-calling, snark, etc., is not welcome.

If you’re interested in a short story told in flash/micro-fiction style, head on over to my Facebook page and have a read. It’s set to go through Halloween, for your entertainment.

Now, onto the subject at hand.

When I tell people I’m a writer, I typically get a slew of questions. Aside from “are you published?” (yes) and “where can I buy your books” (here), I’m tackling the most common ones that people seem to like to ask me, how I feel about those questions, and which ones you should never ask of any writer.

  1. Where do you get your ideas?
  2. How much money do you make?
  3. What’s your writing/book/short story about?
  4. What is your writing process like?
  5. I want to write a book about [x]. How do I do it?
  6. Do you ever get writer’s block?
  7. Why do you write horror? What’s wrong with you?
  8. Why don’t you write like Harry Potter novels or something? Those make lots of money.

There is one time, and one time only that I get writer’s block, and that’s when I am trying to force a story into a direction that it doesn’t want to go. This happens to writers on occasion. You learn that you cannot force a story. You have to let it go where it leads, and then when it’s over, steer it back towards the framework of your story.

Tangents are pretty great. The most common mistake writers make is that they don’t allow their tangents freedom. On your first draft, just let it go. If you wind up writing 150,000 words, then let it be. It’s not like those words won’t be cut and reworked twenty times.

My first manuscript took fifteen rewrites before it was ready for publishing. Six drafts were my own and then the rest were because of editorial suggestions. When it was finished, it was really finished. There was nothing more to add or subtract.

I rarely get writer’s block, and I haven’t had it in a long time since I learned to let go and just have my tangents being what they are.

This question is one I get from inexperienced writers, or from people who do not write. I don’t mind talking about it, because I learn something each time I discuss it.