Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world?
“Whenever the humour takes me, I will write, because I like it; and because I like myself better when I do so.” Thomas Gray, 1768. I conceived a passion for the written word with my very first Dick and Jane reader, and have never lost it. I also appreciate that in turbulent times, our words can be used to educate, persuade, or distract.
What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block?
The only writer's block I believe in is the hand-decorated piece of wood I keep on my desk. Years ago I read an article in Writer's Market that debunked the whole concept. It freed me to abandon a scene that wasn't working and write scenes out of order. I do believe that the level of creativity in the universe is low sometimes, though--a good time to revise and polish.
What is your favorite time to write?
In an ideal world, I would write in the morning, when I have the most creative energy, but the words have a bad habit of flowing in late evening and during the night. I often have to keep a notebook and pen beside the bed. A better answer might be that my favorite time is when my characters are speaking to me and I just take dictation.
What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers?
Richard Brickner in his memoir, My Second Twenty Years, said "A novel in the making is, to its author, literally as huge as an ocean, no matter how mere a glass of water it may be to a reader.” That idea helps me put praise, criticism, and indifference in perspective. It's only a glass of water, possibly not to the reader's taste, or he or she is not even thirsty. But it's still your ocean--enjoy the swim.
What excites you most about being a writer in today's age?
I remember when editorial communications, including galleys, traveled by snail mail, and revision involved retyping entire pages, so I love the convenience of the electronic era, the ease of revision and the speed of communication with editors, readers, and fellow writers.
Linda Griffin's Guilty Knowledge is out now with The Wild Rose Press.