I’m not a best selling author or a blogger with tens of thousands of adoring fans, so it’s not likely Copyblogger‘s Brian Clark is going to be beating down my door for one of his “Here’s How [insert famous writer's name] Writes” blogs. Call it sour grapes or call it what you like, since Copyblogger isn’t going to interview me, I will. Apologies for pinching their questions.
Who are you and what do you do?
Dumb question. I’m a writer, obviously. Otherwise you wouldn’t be interviewing me. Aside from writing regularly scheduled articles for my clients, I also blog for fun on my own websites.
What is your area of expertise as a writer or online publisher?
In a word, Sihanoukville. In 2 words, my Sihanoukville Journal, which has become quite popular and has netted me quite a bit of paid work as well.
Where can we find your writing?
I just told you.
How much time per day do you spend doing research?
I write about 6 hours a day. I reckon about a quarter of that time is spent doing research.
Before you begin to write, do you have any pre-game rituals or practices?
I play a game of Freecell.
What’s your best advice for overcoming procrastination?
Hunger. When I had another source of income, I rarely wrote. When I became dependent on writing for my personal survival and the survival of my Cambodian family, I started writing daily. Now I feel like I’ve skipped a meal if I don’t write.
What time of day is most productive for your writing?
10am to 4pm. I often start earlier and finish later, but those are my most productive hours.
Do you generally adhere to a rigid or flexible writing system?
What’s a writing system?
How many hours a day do you spend actually writing (excluding email, social media etc.)?
Not sure what you mean by “actually writing.” If writing on paper in longhand is “actual writing,” the answer is about 3 minutes. If you include typing in your definition of actual writing, it would be .75X6 hours or 4 and a half hours. I already told you I spend about a quarter of my 6 hour day doing research, so obviously you’re not listening to my answers.
Do you write every day?
Yes, but I usually only write 6 hours a day on weekdays.
I won’t even try. I reckon as soon as you define it, it’s gone.
Who are your favorite authors, online or off?
I won’t name names, but I will tell you they’ve all been dead for a very long time.
Can you share a best-loved quote?
“Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.” Actually, just about every line of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself is a favorite quote, but I have a crappy memory, so only a few lines have stuck.
Do you prefer a particular type of music (or silence) when you write?
I block everything out when I write, so music is wasted on me.
How would you personally like to grow creatively as a writer?
I’d like to grow creatively as a writer.
Do you believe in “writer’s block”? If so, how do you avoid it?
“Writer’s block” is a term non-writers can use to convince themselves and others they’re actually writers.
Who or what is your “Muse” at the moment (i.e. specific creative inspirations)?
Would you consider yourself someone who likes to “take risks?”
One person’s risk is another person’s normal.
What makes a writer great?
How would I know? If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say passion.
I could go on, but you’re probably bored by now anyway. Don’t get me wrong — I like Copyblogger, but those “Here’s How So-and-So Writes” blogs are beyond meaningless to me. I prefer Carol Tice’s blogs. They give actual advice to working freelance writers who want to advance their careers. Some of the blogs on Copyblogger do that, too, but if you’re looking for solid, grassroots advice from working freelance writers, Make a Living Writing is where you’ll find it. I finally got back into the Freelance Writers Den recently after a long wait. I’ll be reporting on that soon.