Me Being Interviewed on My Writing Habits


Fun little interview on the productivity website, Lift, about my writing habits (or lack thereof).

In the time since you launched your kickstarter campaign, you’ve seemed to make steady incremental progress on bringing the book to market. What sort of daily habits would you recommend to a writer who’s trying to complete a book? Was there anything beyond “write every day” that helped you make progress?

In the Appendices of my book, I have a lengthy piece called “Gareth’s Tips on Sucks-­Less Writing.” One of those tips is “Writers Write!” It may sound painfully obvious, but it’s key. You have to do the work, put one word in front of the other. One of the other tips I have in there (taken from Anne Lamott’s highly­ recommended Bird By Bird) is to not be afraid of what she calls “Shitty First Drafts.” Don’t be afraid to just get your thoughts out there. Unvarnished. Don’t fear the blank page. You can edit what comes out into something usable. The best writing advice I ever got was to really cultivate two work heads, the writer’s head and the editor’s head. When writing, shut the editor off. Turn him/her on only after you have your shitty first draft.

Writing a book is not easy, it takes a lot of self ­discipline, and it’s something of a heroic quest, with many perils along the way, monsters to slay. But it is completely worth it if you have the tenacity and the courage to go on the quest. You are a different person when you finish from the person who started, tempered.

Read the entire interview.

Published by Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

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