Despite being not the most recognizable author in the world, I still get questions about writing. Some of them are amusing, like: “How do you live with yourself?”, or statements, like: “You worry me.” Hey man, not everyone has the idea for a short story about a robot/zombie Lincoln that sits on the couch most of the day watching TV and complaining. And he’s powered by pennies, because the idea of Lincoln having to consume little images of himself in order to survive made me giggle. I’m special.
Okay, yeah, they might have a point.
Anyway, I figured I might answer a couple of those other questions to the best of my ability.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
I don’t. That is to say, I don’t let it get to me. I find things to do if I’m stuck. Paint Warhammer figures, watch some TV, play a game (Crusader Kings, usually – nothing like marrying members of your family to political rivals then disposing of their natural children so you can take over their throne by proxy when they mysteriously die), take a long shower, or write regardless, even if it’s gibberish.
All of these things do the one thing I need – they take my mind off of the serious writing, and let it reset. I like to think of block as one of those knots, where the harder and longer you worry it, the tighter it gets. Leave it alone, and it’ll practically undo itself.
How often do you write?
About two to three hours a night – I usually shoot for a thousand words. Sometimes, if I’m on a roll, and it’s the weekend, I’ll write ’til I’m done. Sometimes that’s six hours. I usually take Friday nights off.
Where do you get your ideas?
One-offs from conversation, art, playing What-If, and the Idea Leprechaun.
How do you deal with rejection?
I bitch and moan for about five minutes internally, then move on. There’s always another idea, another rewrite, another magazine I haven’t tried yet. Something’s bound to give. Reckless optimism doesn’t hurt.
I’m sure there are others, but these seem to be the ones I get asked the most often. If you have any others, feel free to ask, or if you just want to point out that a zombie Lincoln would never work because he’d probably just be brittle bones by now, thanks a lot, there goes that idea.