The Writer Tag: Survey for Writers

writing-week-writer-tag-banner  Tagged by Mina!
1. What type of writing do you do?
Fiction, feature writing, essays, non-fiction too. I’ve written novellas, magazine articles, even a how-to book or two.

2. What genres and/or topics do you write about?
Fiction-wise, I write about women. There’s romance in there, but I’m mainly interested in how my female characters develop. I’ve also written urban horror and non-genre short fiction.

3. How long have you been writing?
For an audience? 14 years. For myself, since I started keeping a diary, aged nine, after reading the condensed version of Anne Frank’s Diary. 

4. Are you published?
Yup. My chick lit novellas were published by Psicom; my short stories by PAL books, Philippine Graphic, Philippines Free Press, Manila Times, the Inquirer. I’ve also started self-publishing.

5. What was the first story you ever wrote?
I think it was a script that I showed to my grade 5 classmates. It was very Maala-ala Mo Kaya!

6. Why do you write? 
Hmm. Many reasons. I’m creative (I used to draw and paint as a kid) but as I grew older became more controlling and analytical; writing fuses both those  drives and lets me exercise my imagination. Also it’s one of my few marketable skills. Hehe. 

7. How do you find time to write?
It’s more of me being seized by an idea and not being able to rest until I get it down on paper. So it can be at spare moments at work, in the morning before I leave the house for work, at night before I wind down after work. (oh my God my life revolves around work.)

8. When and where are the best times to write?

At work, first thing when you get in. Makes you look busy too. 😀

9. Favorite food/drinks while writing?
Water. I don’t really eat or drink when I write.

10. Your writing playlist?
I get distracted by music when I’m trying to create something so I prefer silence. The ambient sounds of a boring TV show works too.

11. What do family/friends/loved ones think of you writing?
My mom says my books make her laugh. My sister is my best critic and fan. My friends are super lovely about it. Mostly people are like “cool, you’re a writer!” but they don’t really dig the chick lit.

12. Parts of writing you enjoy the most?
When I get an idea and it seems so awesome and I start plotting in my head and getting excited and in my head it sounds like the BEST! BOOK! EVAR!

13. Parts of writing you find challenging?
Usually after the exposition chapters and things need to start happening, or resolving conflict. Also the first edit is really rough. That’s when the BEST! BOOK! EVAR! feels like the crappiest crap in the world.

14. What do you use to write with and on?
Since I write mostly at work, the PC. Lately I’ve been carrying around an idea notebook. Also one time I left the laptop at home and when I had a major deadline and had to finish four chapters that weekend so I had to longhand it, and what do you know! It was actually more productive since I tend to self edit on the computer instead of just letting the words flow.

15. How do you overcome writers block?
Honestly? I read book reviews and stir up feelings of guilt and inadequacy at how awesome other writers are. Super healthy, I know.

16. How do you motivate yourself to write?
See no. 15, haha! Also when I have a good idea I don’t really need to motivate myself; the idea drives me. It’s when I get stuck that I need to start the guilt trip.
 
17. Authors who inspire you as a writer? Mina Esguerra — she’s so prolific and actuated; a true pioneer! For romance I tend to take a lot of my writing cues from screenwriters because good dialogue is so important to the genre (check Julian Barnes’ Talking it Over and Love Etc. which are all written in dialogue), and for that Cameron Crowe is tops for being cool and awkward and real (hello Say Anything!) Also this is weird but lately I’ve been reading John le Carre and the way he plunks readers down into his milieu without much explanation, expecting them to figure it out, but ends up hooking them in anyway is sooo inspiring to me since I’m Miss Mega Exposition and I’d really like to trim that down.

18. Books that inspire you as a writer?
Julian Barnes’ Talking it Over and Love Etc. are great examples of love stories that are heartbreaking and fully realized without falling into cutesy, and it’s my goal to one day get that same balance.

19. Best advice you’ve gotten as a writer?
That I didn’t need to sacrifice my creative urges for work. (My dad, upon my graduation. :D)

20. Writing goals this year?
I’ve actually completed two books this year already, one fiction, one non-fiction, and I’m already exhausted! LOL. But I would want to start working on something very different from what I usually write. Oh and get Spark out! We’ve got great plans for this and I’m so excited to start fleshing it out.

About Author: Katrina Ramos Atienza

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