The Writing Process with Vanessa Gebbie

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TODAY I WOULD LIKE TO WELCOME VANESSA GEBBIE TO MY BLOG, TO TALK ABOUT HER WRITING, WORK AND WRITING PROCESS.

1) CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING? ARE YOU WRITING NOW?

I have been writing for about ten years now, and have just sent my seventh book to my agent. I write short fiction, flash fiction, novels, poetry, and have compiled and contributed to a text book on writing the short forms. You can find out about me and my books on my website http://www.vanessagebbie.com/
Yes, I am writing – I have nearly finished the current novel, a story about a boy who runs away with a bunch of letters for company.

2)HOW MUCH RESEARCH OR PREPARATION DO YOU DO BEFORE WRITING? FOR EXAMPLE, DO YOU DO CHAPTER PLANS AND CHARACTER PROFILES ETC? DOES ANY OF THIS CHANGE WHILE YOU ARE WRITING?

I plan very little – certainly have never/would do character profiles, or chapter/story outlines, although I know many writers do. I don’t work like that – I’m one of those who writes into the fog, to see what happens. Research is different, isn’t it? I will research where it is needed, to get the things that have to be right as right as I can. But I always remember I am writing fiction – and that means making stuff up.

3) DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE TIME TO WRITE? HOW DO YOU BALANCE THIS WITH FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES OR OTHER WORK?

I don’t. I write when I feel like it, or when the guilt at not writing builds up a head of steam. But mostly, I have to get away from home to write, so I go to retreats, either Anam Cara Writers and Artists retreat in West Cork Ireland, or to Gladstone’s Library near Chester. There, I can work without interruption for long periods, and invariably get a lot done.

4) WHAT PART OF THE PROCESS OF WRITING DO YOU FIND THE MOST IMPORTANT? FOR EXAMPLE, FIRST DRAFT, EDITING, REWRITING ETC.

All of it – they are so different, it depends entirely on my mood. I love to spill out fresh creative work, but there is a deep satisfaction in working hard smoothing it and polishing a manuscript, too.

5) WRITING HAS LOTS OF HIGHS AND LOWS, HOW DO YOU KEEP YOURSELF MOTIVATED?

I don’t know! The rewards are small – so money is certainly no motivator. I think my main motivation is chasing the satisfaction of having made something.

6) DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA AND/OR BLOG? HOW USEFUL DO YOU FIND THIS?

I do. I use facebook, twitter,I blog and have a website. They are all useful in different ways, I like the social aspect of facebook and twitter – so long as they don’t take over. I’m not very good at disciplining myself. I find I blog less these days, but the archive is a good thing to have out there.

7) IF YOU COULD PASS ON A PIECE OF ADVICE TO A NEW WRITER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Be realistic. Work hard, then harder and learn your craft. It takes time. Be patient. If you absolutely have to self publish, don’t do it before the work is as good as you can get it – it will be out there forever – make sure you are proud of it.

IF YOU WANT TO CONNECT WITH VANESSA ON TWITTER, SHE CAN BE FOUND @VanessaGebbie

THANK YOU VANESSA and good luck with your current novel and future work.

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