I have always been inspired by the natural world - I have so much to say about it! When I’m out of doors, or even watching through a window, I wish that I could share with others what it is I observe.
I need a deadline! And I need a plan, but I need to have flexibility within the plan - but not with the deadline! Then I gather together all the relevant information and accounts and sort them into chapters. For Child of the Earth, the chapters are month by month. I find that, once I start writing, I find I want to include even more and I go on to research what it is I want to add.
Write for the love of writing and your subject matter! Don’t do it for the money!
Once you’ve decided what it is you want to write, have a plan but don’t be rigid with it. Know what it is you want to communicate with the reader, and apply an inclusive method - your writing never wants to exclude!
The Pearl by John Steinbeck
I can’t remember now which part made me cry, but I do remember I couldn’t read on for tears.
Most of Child of the Earth is nonfiction, but it does include short stories. In these, I’ve used both male and female voices, and I don’t really find it any easier (or more difficult!) to use one or the other.
I never get writer’s block, as such, but I often have to put writing on hold to get on with other things.
Oh yes! I find it very frustrating, but it happens sometimes - especially when the text contains too many statistics.
That’s a really interesting question! I was pleased with my first book, but when I read it back, holding it in my hand, I thought there were things there which I would have put differently. I realized that my writing style should play second fiddle to the importance and message of the text. The style in my new book is still very much my own, but I didn’t allow it to dictate, as I had in my first book.
Most of the research is done as I’m writing. I use past journals, diaries, nature writing by others, and the internet. Before I start to write, I check the facts of the material I’ve collated, daub red ink everywhere, and often add to it according to what I’ve just found. I find my discipline in getting out my message leads to a flow that allows for research and writing to run side by side.