Questions for Writers

by bdhesse

I found this list of questions here: http://writeitsideways.com/37-questions-new-writers-should-ask-themselves/. I thought I’d answer them.

  1. Why do I want to be published?
    I want to be published because I want to make writing my career. I don’t want to need to get a full time job that could take away from my writing. And I want a job that I can be passionate about.
  2. What type of writing will I to focus on?
    I don’t want to focus on a single genre, but I would write mostly fantasy and science fiction. However, I also want to write horror and thrillers, YA, and middle grade fiction.
  3. What expectations do I have for myself as a writer?
    I don’t have a whole lot of expectations. I suppose I expect to make enough to not need another job. I also expect to put in a lot of work.
  4. Are my expectations realistic?
    I hope so.
  5. What is my ultimate goal for my writing?
    I want to be known as a good writer (as opposed to simply a good story teller), so I want to write well. I also want my story telling to be strong. Basically, my ultimate goal for my writing is to be a great writer.
  6. What knowledge do I have about the publishing process?
    I’m still learning about the publishing process. I’ve read a lot about it, but I won’t feel fully comfortable in my knowledge until I’ve gotten a few books published.
  7. What areas of the publishing process do I need to research more?
    How to actually get an agent, and how to know I can trust them. I find that bit kind of scary.
  8. What time of day am I the most productive? Atabout6pm-2am.
  9. What kind of writing schedule will I keep?
    Being as my writing has to fit around my school work, I don’t actually have a schedule. When I’m done school, I’ll try to write from 9-11 pm every night.
  10. Which authors do I most admire, and why?
    Tamora Pierce and Mercedes Lackey because nobody writes female characters like they do.
  11. How would I describe my writer’s voice?
    This is a complicated question. I’m still playing with various writing styles, so I guess I’ll find out soon enough.
  12. What do I really know? How can I apply my real world knowledge and experience to my writing?
    I know who I am and what I’d do in a given situation, so I know what a realistic response is and is not. I know history, so I can write historical landscapes and events quite well. I know philosophy, so I’m good at coming up with interesting thought experiments for my stories. And, this is very important, I know how to use Google to learn what I don’t already know.
  13. What skills do I have that will help me move toward publication?
    My university training has made me an effective writer. I have always been good at creating stories. And I know where to look to learn how to get published.
  14. What skills do I lack that I must improve if I want to be published?
    Nobody really tells me what they don’t like about my writing, so this is a good question. I think I need to be better at describing things. I also need to get better at editing (I hate editing), and I need to get better at social media.
  15. What kind of professional development will I pursue?
    I’ve been trying to get short stories published in magazines, but I haven’t had any luck so far. I would like to take some writing classes and join a writing group, but not until I’m done school. I also want to start going to writing conventions, but I’ll need to be out of school for that too. Right now I’m just trying to get my social media skills improved.
  16. What roadblocks am I likely to face in my road to publication?
    Lack of connections, lack of experience, lack of knowledge leading to mistakes, difficulty finding an agent that will take me on.
  17. What is my contingency plan if I can’t get published?
    I’ll probably go the self-publishing route.
  18. How will I build a platform–for either fiction or non-fiction?
    Twitter, this blog, Facebook, attending conferences, writing guest posts at some point.
  19. What goals will I set for today? This week? This month? This year?
    For today? None (it’s already 11pm). This week I want to get back to editing my novel. This month is almost over, but next month I’d like to finish my second novel (yeah Camp NaNoWriMo). This year (beginning next month) I’d like to write four books, and I’d like to get at least one published.
  20. What am I doing to increase my exposure, even before I am published?
    Social media. Soon I will add attending conferences to that.
  21. How do I plan to maintain my motivation during the rough times?
    Taking breaks, setting a specific time aside, reading what other writers have to say about getting motivated.
  22. How will I deal with friends and family members who are not supportive of my writing?
    I don’t have any of those to worry about.
  23. How will I financially support myself (and my family, if applicable) while I pursue publication–and even afterward?
    I will get a part time job for a little while. Luckily my fiance is willing to pick up the slack until I find success.
  24. Where will I go for writing support–critique groups, forums, etc.?
    Writing books and blogs for now. And Writing Excuses. Eventually I will have a writing group for support. And of course my friends and family.
  25. What might I need to give up to make this all happen?
    Nothing important. A few creature comforts.
  26. Where will I/do I write, and is it the most effective place?
    Wherever I can. I find it easy to write wherever my computer is able to be set up.
  27. How do I plan to take care of myself physically and mentally during my writer’s journey?
    The same way I do now (writing and working part time will be easier than my life is now).
  28. Am I a plotter or a pantser, and is my current system working for me?
    I started as a pantser, but I’m becoming a plotter.
  29. Will I focus on gaining minor publishing credits first (short stories, poetry), or jump right into full-length books?
    I’ve been trying to publish short stories, but I may just focus on books from now on.
  30. Under what circumstances, if any, will I decide to give up?
    Writing or trying to get published? I can’t imagine any situation that would stop me from either, but I’d stop trying to get published long before I’d stop writing.
  31. Will I consider self-publishing?
    Only if I can’t get traditionally published.
  32. What feeling do I want readers to get from what I write?
    That depends on what I’m writing. I guess a sense of wonder and adventure.
  33. What are the most effective ways for me to get inspired?
    Reading.
  34. Will I write by hand or on a computer? Will I use a word processor or specialized writing software?
    Computer. And I’ll be using Libre Office for my writing.
  35. What are the biggest struggles I face in this journey, and how do I plan to overcome them?
    My anxiety disorder. With great difficulty.
  36. How can I make my writing more authentic, more genuine?
    Practice.
  37. Will I enter writing contests, or not bother?
    I have in the past, but I’m not sure I’ll do so in the future.

How would you answer these questions?

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