So, I thought I would answer a couple of questions about myself and how I write. I saw this tag floating around YouTube and decided to give it a try – I love answering questions…
1. Where’s your favourite place to write?
My favourite place to write is usually outside where there are people around. Rarely do I like to sit in my room to write. I also rarely listen to music when I write, I usually enjoy the chatter of strangers around me when sitting outside the library or sometimes even in a coffee shop. I do make playlists and sometimes, when it gets too loud, I enjoy music better instead.
2. Coffee or tea?
That depends. If I get to go to a Starbucks, I get my White Chocolate Mocha. I don’t drink coffee at all, I hate the taste and the smell, but since you can hardly taste the coffee in most Starbucks drinks – let alone smell it – I enjoy some White Chocolate Mocha when possible. On any other occasion I would go with tea. In Germany we have so many incredible different flavours – and yes I know that’s super untraditional, kind of like the Starbucks of tea, but I thoroughly enjoy them. Always with cream or milk 🙂
I also love to go for Hot Chocolate. Again, Starbucks has some amazing Hot Chocolate, but it doesn’t have to be Starbucks.
3. Favourite book of all time?
This one is so so difficult… I cannot name just one, but my favourite books include Whisper by Isabel Abedi (German book) and Christopher Barzak’s Wonders of the Invisible World. I absolutely adore the Six of Crows Series by Leigh Bardugo and her writing style really inspires me, although my writing style is quite different.
4. NanoWrimo yes or no?
Theoretically yes. I love the idea and I have attempted it two times now, but I am terrible at going through with it. I kind of end up losing all motivation and inspiration by the time NaNoWriMo comes around. It’s almost like a trigger – a really shitty anti-creativity trigger. However, I haven’t given up just yet and hopefully will be more successful in coming Novembers. So theoretically: Yes.
5. Genre you would write if you had no restrictions
What restrictions would those be? I love many genres and I have ideas for different ones. I hope to write both crime and fantasy, sometimes overlapping, sometimes not. I love contemporary, but I am not sure if I could ever write it without adding either some criminal, mystery, or some magical aspects to it. I don’t restrict myself, but I am not sure how restrictive being traditionally published can be. I’ll deal with that when (if) it comes to that. For now, I write whatever I like.
6. If you could have any super power, what would that be?
Invisibility. That, to me, is the most logical superpower there is. Or the ability to make everything real that I write. However that second one has to be controlled and for me it counts for situations in which I really crave some nice ice cream or my favourite crisps/chips. I wouldn’t use it to make money illegally or to in any way change the world – just because we all know how this shit ends and it is never well.
Invisibility, to come back to my first choice of superpower, makes the most sense to me because it allows you to kind of fake all other superpowers. If you want to fly, then it makes sense to be able to go invisible. You can sneak on planes or boats and in that way travel wherever you like with comfort. Flying alone can be boring, take forever, and be quite uncomfortable and probably cold. So being invisible really makes more sense than simply the ability to fly.
I could probably write an essay on the logic of invisibility being the most useful superpower, but I won’t go into too much detail here, so I hope that one example will do for now.
7. Favourite author?
Leigh Bardugo and Christopher Barzak (so far), because they are the only ones able to write a bunch of non-dialogue text without making it boring, repetitive, or redundant. I love reading the pages of their books with very little whitespace without getting bored or skipping across them. They also inspire me and I love the tone of their books.
There are probably more that I am forgetting right now, but these are definitely right up there. Also, I think that if you enjoy Adam Silvera, you will enjoy Christopher Barzak. Everybody should just totally check out his work, he’s fantastic!
8. What kind of music do you listen to when you write?
As I wrote above, I rarely listen to music when I write. However, when I do listen to music I am quite open to different styles. Sometimes I listen to soundtracks of TV shows I like at the time. Other times I listen solely to classical music, sometimes even opera. Then other times I make my own playlists, although I am shit at catching an atmosphere or a tone of voice with music… I am really not talented when it comes to music and the feelings it’s supposed to incite. My favourite writing music is the bustling and low murmurs of the strangers around me.
9. If you could live anywhere, where would that be?
Venice or a farm in the UK (or New Zealand). Either of the two/three. I am in love with Venice. It is a beautiful, magical city – town? – in Italy and I absolutely adore it. However, one day, when I’m older and maybe retired, I hope to live on a small farm in rural UK or New Zealand and farm some animals as well as crops. If my pension is shit, I’ll try to earn money with it, if it is fine, I’ll do it for fun… and maybe also earn some money with it.
10. What do you do when you get writer’s block?
Walk, run, don’t try to write for a while. I suck at getting out of writer’s block. Sometimes I force myself through it, but usually I try to ban any thoughts of writing from my mind. I usually get writer’s block when school work becomes too much, I get stressed out, and then feel guilty about not writing but also about not studying enough. That’s when I step back from writing and concentrate on getting back on track with my studies.
As soon as I am back on track with my studies and work out regularly – that always releases stress – my mind clears and I have space for writing again. Writing is still a priority for me, don’t get me wrong, but so is education. I actually enjoy studying and it means security for me. Education will always come before writing for me, because writing is not my only dream. It is my number 1 dream, but not the only one. I also don’t think I could write good stories without studying. That’s just how it works for me personally.