I was recently interviewed about my experience as a writer, and I thought I’d share it with you:
What does writing a book require?
A lot of hard work. A brain is also a must. Fingers are a plus. But in all seriousness, there are three main requirements: (1) a basic ability for it (including, but not limited to, a basic grasp of the English language); (2) a dedicated love of it (or else you’ll never finish); and (3) something to say. The last one is the most important; the others merely serve it. Yet they are indispensable. It’s like a person in a car; the car is just the way to get the person to Grandma’s house, but without it they’d never get there on time.
What do you like about it?
What I really love, what really brings me back to it time and again, are the characters. They become real people to me and I want to experience the adventure with them and then share these characters with the world. And in a way the fantasy world I create around those characters becomes a character in itself. At least it ought to be, if done well.
What don’t you like about writing a book?
What I don’t really love is how long it takes to write a book and how much work it takes to make it good. But I can deal with that; what I hate is marketing the book. It’s the part of being a writer that has nothing to do with writing. It’s a lot of work, seldom brings results, and zaps a lot of energy that ought to be used for actually writing.
What type of education is needed to write a book?
No special education is required, but a writer has to be learning how to improve their craft all the time. You do this by reading and writing. When you read, you soak in the art of it, whether you realize it or not. Then you have to practice your writing, to see what works and what doesn’t. It’s good to have mentors, living and dead, and an English degree and similar programs can give you that in a very direct way. (Of course, it is possible to be too educated, if you ask me.)
Have you received any personal fulfillment from being an author?
I don’t think I could find any personal fulfillment if I wasn’t an author. It’s a part of who I am.
Does this relate to your faith?
The connection to my faith isn’t obvious, but it is fundamental. It goes back to what I said about having something to say. The writer captures and reflects human experiences, but how they interpret them is going to depend on their worldview and beliefs. It’s going to influence what they say and how they say it. And it goes both ways. Even as I’m telling my readers about some truth of life, I’m learning it myself. And of course, I believe truth is a Person. So if I reveal truth in my story, I reveal the most important Person I know.