Writers are so often viewed as tortured, solitary creatures who spend their waking hours hovering over the keys of their battered laptops in a dank basement or in the corner of a coffee shop, agonizing over their words. While it is true that the act of writing is mostly something one does on their own, it can also be a very social activity under the right circumstances. I am thankful to know many very talented writers from all walks of life, and I began this segment on my blog as a way to not only celebrate those friendships, but to also maybe learn what makes my fellow writers tic.
It’s my pleasure to introduce to you another one of my writer friends, Michelle Woody.
Michelle is a budding fiction writer from Livermore, California – where she lives with her husband and son. When she isn’t raising her son or working her regular job at a tech company, she spends her free moments writing her unnamed debut fiction novel, which she hopes to have published by the end of October of 2018.
ME: What personally drives you to write?
MICHELLE E. WOODY: Emotion. From searing pain to overwhelming euphoria, emotion is the most prominent factor manning the helm of my creative works. Heartbreak and victory may be entirely different personal experiences, but they both work very well for creative fuel. Capitalizing on feeling is the absolute best tool I have.
ME: Who are your influences?
MICHELLE E. WOODY: The people I surround myself with are my ultimate influence. I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful support group that push me to keep working. If I had to choose an author of great influence, it would be Chuck Palahniuk. I enjoy his dark cynicism and his abilities to take unsavory topics and turn them into entertainment. It’s quite a talent.
ME: What’s your technique for escaping writer’s block?
MICHELLE E. WOODY: When I encounter writers block, my best technique is to read or watch clips related to the topic I am focusing on. It helps maintain the thought I have and eventually, I’ll have an idea that puts me back on track. I have a bigger issue with time than I do with writer’s block because with limited time, I don’t have the option to walk away. I have to keep going. Pressure likes to flirt with ability.
ME: What’s one must-read book you can recommend?
MICHELLE E. WOODY: My most recent favorite book is Stolen Tongues by Felix Blackwell. Blackwell is a redditer turned novelist and is a very talented horror-fiction writer. That specific book has cost me a great deal of missed sleep.
ME: What’s one piece of advice you can give to a new writer?
MICHELLE E. WOODY: WRITE IT DOWN! For the love of Baphomet, write it down! It doesn’t matter what medium you use to jot down even the smallest ideas, just get them out. It doesn’t matter how silly, sad or controversial it is, you should always write down your ideas. Even if those ideas sit in a shoebox under your bed for decades, never to pass through your fingertips again, always write your ideas down. Keep a journal on your person at all times and get your thoughts out on paper and revisit as often as you can. Writing is a lot of work, it plays with your confidence and the only true affirmation you really need is the want to push forward. Don’t worry about how others will perceive it, don’t let it discourage you. Just work for yourself.
Michelle is hoping to publish her book by the end of October, 2018 – so keep your eyes peeled.