Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world?
I come from a chaotic newspaper family so I've spent my life around writers and writing. And plenty of drinkers and drinking to go with it. (More than a few of our death certificates contain the word "misadventure.") Aristotle says in "Poetics" that storytelling is what gives us a shareable world. In stories we search for reasons, causes, ideals, and missions. They help us fight an uncomfortable randomness by locating plots and patterns and purpose, thereby forcing a narrative structure on chaos. Stories can provide us with unlimited potential for learning and compassion and help us discover what it really means to be human.
What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block?
When you write for a newspaper and work on deadline there is no writer's block. With longer works I have two thoughts. Never leave off when facing a problem area since it's more difficult to go back. And second, if something isn't working perhaps it's best to look for different material.
What is your favorite time to write?
When I was younger and busier I'd write whenever I could find the time. Now that I'm older I get dumber as the day progresses and so it's best to work in the morning and go to the dentist in the afternoon.
What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers?
If you write one page a day at the end of the year you'll have a book.
What excites you most about being a writer in today's age?
That question makes me sad since being a writer today is more difficult than when I started. But the same thing excites me now as back then. I enjoy making people laugh. The Prayer of Saint Francis contains a pretty big wish list, including world peace, so I'm just aiming for the one line where he says to try and sow joy where there is sadness.
Laura Pedersen's A Theory of Everything Else is out now with She Writes Press.