the kinetic pen

wired by words

6 Questions for Writers


I’ve decided to sit in the hotseat. Kristen M. Ploetz, with the adorable blog “Little Lodestar,” is asking writers to answer a few questions about their craft. My turn:

1. Do you share your work with your partner or spouse? Does it matter if it’s been published yet? I typically never share my creative writing with my husband before publication (there are exceptions), but I never hesitate to run things by him when I’m working on a freelance assignment and need guidance. Hmm…

2. How much of your family and/or closest “friends in real life first” read your stuff…let alone give you feedback about it? My friend Sue not only reads my essays or parts of my manuscript, but has been vital in shaping sentences, paragraphs and scenes that evolve from ‘almost there’ to ‘right on!’ – and I hope all writers find someone in their life like that.

3. Are there pieces you write for one very specific place that, once rejected, you just let go of, or do you rework into something else? I’m not sure I believe we need to let pieces go completely. If something of mine gets rejected, I pick it apart and use the material in other ways. The messages we want to get out need to get out. Sometimes doing that successfully just takes some patience and a different spin.

4. What is your main source of reading-based inspiration (especially you essayists)? Blogs? Magazines? Journals? Anthologies? Book of essays by one writer? ANYTHING by Julia Cameron. Every issue of The Sun magazine. Jo Ann Beard’s The Boys of My Youth.

5. What tends to spark ideas more for you: what you see/hear in daily life or what you read? Definitely the former. Sometimes my head hurts because I have too many ideas flowing in at once.

6. Without listing anything written by Dani Shapiro, Anne Lamott, Lee Gutkind, or Natalie Goldberg, what craft books are “must haves”? I mentioned Julia Cameron, so I’ll list two of her titles that speak to writers not only on craft but identity: The Sound of Paper: Starting from Scratch and The Writer’s Life: Insights from the Right to Write.

To all my writer friends: How would you answer these questions (or some of them)? Go!


Author: thekineticpen

Freelance journalist working on a narrative nonfiction book about a woman who, after the freak death of her husband, decides to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to deal with her grief and finds a second chance at love.

2 thoughts on “6 Questions for Writers

  1. I’ll tackle your first question. My husband has known me for six of the ten years I’ve been working on my first novel (yeah, I know, I really am gonna finish it this year) and has never asked to read any of it. I always thought he wasn’t that interested. And besides, it’s in a genre he doesn’t typically read. When I approached him about it last month, he was over-the-top eager to read it, but hadn’t wanted to thwart my creative process, so he hadn’t asked. Now that he’s reading the first draft, I’m finding him an invaluable asset with fantastic feedback, positive support and terrific suggestions to clarify things. Hooray!! Now I can truly, with nary a doubt, dedicate my book to him when it’s published.

    Thanks for asking. I guess that’s the takeaway: You never know until you ask. 😀

    • What a nice surprise to find an invaluable asset right under your nose! And congratulations on being so far on your manuscript. I’m on the sixth year of mine, so I can relate to the time it takes…

      I appreciate your comment, and am happy to be connected. Keep on keepin’ on. 🙂

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