6 Writing Tips From John Steinbeck

In honor of Steinbeck’s birthday…

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Author Confessions Round 30

I’ve claimed one hashtag already, strictly for marketing purposes. It’s #scrubsbookseries.

For a more personal hashtag, I guess I’d choose #RandomActsOfWeirdness. On the outside, I appear to be a pretty mellow and down to earth person. I’m quiet and reserved most of the time. But when I’m in the comfort of my own home surrounded by family, my inner weirdness comes out. My quirkiness shines through and my inner child lets loose. I spend all day in a professional environment, where I deal with deadlines and paperwork, attend long meetings, and attempt to educate a large group of eleven year-olds. I’m forced to be serious and act like a grownup five days a week. When I’m not at work, I need to unwind. That’s when my random acts of weirdness are released to the world.

Author Confessions Round 29

 I’m not sure I know the answer to this question. I don’t admire any particular person, so to speak. Rather, I admire those who don’t give up on their dreams, are willing to work hard to make them happen, and remain humble in the process. People who push through adversity, people who go up against the odds, people who persevere even if things are hard are the ones I admire most, because they don’t let anything stop them. They take the lemons life throws at them and make lemonade.

Author Confessions Round 28

 Jonathan Carroll once said, “I find you write with one person in mind. Usually for me that one person is my wife, because she’s my most severe critic and understands best what I’m trying to do.” I guess the one person I write for is my mother-in-law, who has encouraged me from day one. She’s a huge Danielle Steele and Nora Roberts fan and keeps telling me I’m going to be the next Nora Roberts. I just laugh at her and think she’s crazy. But she believes in me. So when I write, I think about her.

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The nine main stereotypes of writers – with cats

Ha ha ha. Yup. This is pretty accurate.

Milly Schmidt

There are so many writing stereotypes out there. For example, when most people picture a writer they imagine a poor-coffee-loving-intelligent-but-crazy-bohemian-hermit who spends their days dreaming up fantastical worlds and despicable murders. It may shock some people to learn that some writers love the sun, prefer to be outdoors, and actually, NO, they don’t know a single thing about how a computer works, but if you need help with anything Microsoft word related – well you’re in luck! (Another stereotype?? Whoops).

Here are what I think are the nine main stereotypes of writers:

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Author Confessions Round 27

 Usually, I write from the comfort of my own home. I’m comfortable there and every resource I could possible need is within my grasp. I have access to tea, a recliner, my laptop, internet for research, an external hard drive, snacks, and itunes. Should I need inspiration, there’s a nature trail nearby where I can walk and get some fresh air. I generate ideas in my head no matter where I go, which is why I always carry a notebook and pen around. If inspiration strikes, I write down the idea, later transferring it over to an appropriate scene.  Home is where my heart is, and home is my writing spot.

Author Confessions Round 26

Because of my job, I write at night, usually between 8 and 10:00 P.M. My weekends are also dedicated to writing, Friday and Saturday nights in particular.  Those are the nights I’m up ’til 2:00 A.M. The house is quiet during that time and it’s easier for me to stay focused because I don’t have the kids, the TV, or my pets bothering me and constantly demanding my attention. I accomplish more and tend to be more creative during the wee hours of the morning.

Author Confessions Round 25

I have two inspirational quotes I like. One is writing related. One is not. The first is from my favorite poem by Robert Frost, The Road Less Traveled.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

My life has been full of less traveled roads. Each road I’ve taken, although full of rocks and potholes, has been well worth the journey.

The second quote is from Pulitzer Prize winner, Junot Diaz. I kind of live by this quote, simply because it defines who I am as a writer. Even if book sales aren’t going well, writing goals aren’t panning out, I receive a crappy review, or I’m just flat out having a sucky day, this quote inspires me to remember why I write, and I push forward.

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Author Confessions Round 24

 I don’t share many things about my personal life with the writing community. It is extremely difficult for me to expose myself, especially to people I don’t know, and it makes me uncomfortable. I’m pretty secretive about my life, and there are details about me that even my closest friends don’t know. I don’t dwell on previous events, don’t talk much about my past, and try to stay focused on what’s happening in my life right now. My current goals drive me, and although I tend to take on life in the moment, I look forward to where my future might lead me.