I get asked a lot of questions about my lifestyle and how I deal with the pressures of being a young author and just an author in general, so I thought I would make a list of FAQ’s and answer them for you.
Q: Is writing the only thing you do?
A: No, I have a job, as well as a full time university course. I run an online magazine chapter called CCCU Her Campus, as well as editing for Readwave. I also draw, paint and sing (although writing is definitely my strong point.)
Q: How often do you blog? Do you find it hard to keep up with regular posting?
A: I spend my downtime blogging, so it’s really second nature. I enjoy doing it – it’s not a chore for me. If I know I have a busy week ahead, I’ll schedule 10-15 posts on the weekend to sporadically publish during the week.
Q: What do your family and friends think of you being a writer?
A: Some are really encouraging and helpful, others just don’t care, and some (not many but some) don’t even know I’m a writer – let alone a self-published author. My friends and siblings are a lot more supportive than my mother – she still hasn’t finished reading my first book!
I think to my parents, I won’t be a real writer until I’ve written a trilogy and it’s in print. I will get there one day, but right now I just don’t have that kind of book in me.
Q: Do you ever think it’s just a phase?
A: Writing is an awkward pastime, because everyone thinks they can write. I think a true writer will write no matter what the world thinks of their books. And that’s me. Luckily, people think I’m good and they buy my books, but I’m not in this for the money and I never have been. I will write until I’ve no words left in me.
Q: Does writing books at such a young age conflict with your social life?
A: Yes. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. My true friends know when I need to write and when I need a break. I’m not a writer that locks themselves in for six months to write a book – I need fresh air and interaction.
My old housemate Lara was amazing – every few hours she would knock on my door with a cup of tea and see if I was okay. She would remind me to eat (I tend to forget when I’m on a roll) and she would offer to proof-read anything.
I do try to go on a night out at least once a month, otherwise I get cabin fever. Even when I go to my best friends’ house, they know I might suddenly whip out a notebook and jot something down. They’re used to it by now.
Q: Do you slip into any bad habits when writing?
A: I barely eat, I have far too much caffeine, I always look a mess and I forget how to talk. But I love it. I also forget to check my phone and end up missing “important” social things.
Q: How do you deal with the pressure?
A: If a story is getting too much for my brain that night, I’ll click save and shut it down. I’ll grab a glass of wine and switch on a movie – just let myself relax for the night. Obviously, if I’m in the middle of a sentence, this so doesn’t happen. I tend to write until the end of a paragraph, and then give up.
There is a lot more pressure on authors these days, especially tech-savvy authors like myself, because we have to be contactable and present 24/7. I have a lovely group of author friends from all over the world – they have no idea that they are IM’ing me at 5a.m and that it’s just woken me up.