Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

A Few Questions for Writers

One of my favorite books on writers and writing is called  Process: The Writing Lives of Great Authors by Sarah Stodola. I've read it numerous times, reading it now in fact, and finding it interesting how different writers approach their work. Of course the ones in this book are or have been famous, their work widely read with high acclaim.

How about the lowly writer like myself? Is anyone interested in how we folks view our work and our process? Well, I for one am very interested, which is why I feel sad that so many of my peers have left blogging. It was where writers wrote about writing, the challenges and processes and successes, small though these may seem compared to the rich and famous in the literary world.

Even without writer blogs, in my work with WiDo I have come to know a wide range of writers. I've seen healthy attitudes and unhealthy ones and those in the middle, maybe depending on the response to their submission or their book once it comes out.

Here are a few questions I'd like to ask every writer:

Are you excited about the idea of people reading your work, or would you rather keep it private? 

Do you have an audience in mind when you write?

Have you always wanted to write a book? 

If you have written your book, do you feel satisfied with it or discouraged and disappointed?

How many forms of writing do you like to do? For example, journaling, poetry, blogging, fiction, personal stories or memoir? 

Is your voice the same regardless of the format?

If you have published a book, what do you think determines how well it sells?

How do you feel about critical reviews? Do you shrug and move on or do you feel devastated by them?

Do you feel that book publishing only counts if it's done in a certain way, such as through an agent or a particular publishing company?

I know that other writers as well as avid readers are interested in these kinds of questions and answers. I'd love to see the return of the writer blogs--the ordinary ones, not the professional or monetized ones, wouldn't you?

And if anyone reading this post is a writer, I'd love to see your responses to this list of thought questions!