Friday, April 07, 2006

Five Questions with The Publishing Spot

Jason Boog over at The Publishing Spot has put up our multi-day interview. We talked on the final day about keeping the writing spirit alive. Thanks to Jason for all of his great questions. Here's an excerpt from my responses:

You have to look at yourself as a writer who happens to work as a high school biology teacher, and not as a high school biology teacher who happens to write. The distinction is very important. A lot of factors in our world work against being a writer, especially financial considerations. You have to hold on to your own identity and protect it.

And as a final note, I want to re-emphasize the community aspect that Michael is talking about. You’ve got to keep in contact with other writers. You do the actual writing on an island, but that doesn’t mean the writing process itself is done on an island.

Make friends with other writers and keep those relationships. Share you work with them and read their work. Go to readings. Seek out new books. Read. Read. Read.

My community includes Chellis Ying, David Roderick, Steve Elliott, Adam Johnson, and Bruce Snider. We talk about our own work, share it, and in general we simply talk about writing as if it’s an important thing. Because we believe that it is. And it helps the belief to be around other people who share that feeling.