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From the 1881 book A Voyage in the Sunbeam, by Annie Allnut Brassey

In response to this quiz from yingle yangle, and Faye L. Booth‘s recent post…

1. Can you make time to write most days?

Yes, but I work on projects according to my mood. Lately I’ve been writing lots of articles and reviews. Writing fiction is more demanding, but rewarding in the long run. I’m not very disciplined, but I love writing.

2. Can you tell stories (or even lie) really well?

I’m not a good liar. As for storytelling – on paper, hopefully yes. In conversation, I’m more of a listener.

3. Can you voraciously learn from other writers’ talents?

I don’t go about it in a deliberate way, but there are some writers who I relate to instinctively.

4. Can you carry a notepad around and write down ideas all the time?

I do carry a notebook, but use it more rarely than I did, say, ten or fifteen years ago.

5. Can you stay home and write when your friends are out; not watch TV; not browse the web?

I’m easily distracted, but I’m also quite a solitary person so I don’t find the writing life a hardship in that sense.

6. Can you to put down a story you think isn’t going well and move on to something else?

Certainly with shorter projects, like an article or a single scene or chapter. I’m very stubborn about the bigger picture, though.

7. Can you pick up a story you put down a long time ago and not think it’s total crap?

Recently I found a piece I’d left unfinished and liked it more than I’d remembered. I haven’t decided what to do with it yet though (if anything.)

8. Can you tolerate jerky rejection slips that say things like “Yup. It’s another rejection”? (A journal responded to one of my stories this way. I won’t resubmit or subscribe soon).

It’s tough sometimes, so I’m careful about when I submit, and to whom.

9. Can you not freak when someone you know tells you they didn’t like what you wrote?

I do freak out now and then, but I always come back fighting.

10. Can you put up with people who make reptilian faces when you tell them you’re a writer?

Rudeness makes me angry. Usually it stems from ignorance.

11. Can you empathize with people you disagree with (or even find reprehensible)?

Empathy defines me as writer, and I like slipping under the skin of my characters. In daily life, it can be a problem as I’m very sensitive to the needs of others, sometimes to the detriment of my own.

12. Can you promote yourself and your talents without feeling arrogant?

Promoting my work online is easier than doing it in person, that’s for sure.

13. Can you get over being jealous of other writers’ success?

I do feel a bit jealous occasionally, but I wouldn’t swap my life for anyone else’s.

14. Can you write about topics that make you uncomfortable?

Writing is my way of tackling unease, directly or otherwise.

15. Can you write about topics that will make your family or friends uncomfortable?

Yes, because I don’t expect them to read it (and some don’t!)

16. Can you write outside genres you’re familiar with?

I’m not really sure what my genre is, which is confusing, but also liberating.

17. Can you read your own work out loud?

I read to myself while editing. As for public readings, I used to act in plays and that helps a little, but I don’t do it very often anymore.

18. Can you meet the challenge of putting words together to make something beautiful?

Well, that is my aim. I’m a perfectionist.

19. Can you keep writing even though you don’t love the scene you’re working on?

If it takes me to a better place, then yes I can.

20. Can you accept the reality that you may never be able to support yourself as a writer?

Getting rich isn’t important to me, but I’d like to earn a living wage (which is my hope for everyone, but that’s another story.)

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