I'd like to share some Questions and Answers from Goodreads. They shed a little light on what it is to be a writer (at least from my perspective).
1) How do you get inspired to write?
Keeping a blog helps, although I'm not as active as some bloggers. My personal goal is at least one post per month...so far, so good. The blog is an eclectic mix of stuff...short stories, sad attempts at poetry, musings, thoughts and things I've done. I have no theme and that helps in keeping my interest in the blog itself. As far as getting inspired to write the next book, it's a process of research, creating a loose and flexible outline, then it has to feel right before I can start writing it. That might sound crazy but without that feeling of "it's time", it will usually start out poorly and I won't be able to finish it.
2) Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
Three years ago, I visited a wild horse sanctuary in northern New Mexico. I'd tossed around the idea of including a story about saving the wild mustang in a book for quite some time. But after seeing first hand the need to inform the public of the plight of these beautiful creatures, the issue became more than just a story. It became the basis of the book. The setting is a wild horse sanctuary. While the book is a work of fiction, I hope it helps readers to think about the plight of these animals and to perhaps act on their behalf. I also hope everyone enjoys the story. It does offer a few other story lines, too. Child abuse, ranch life, New Mexico, Native American (Navajo), horse stealing, gambling...my new book takes on a lot of issues and has much to offer.
3) How do you deal with writer's block?
Read a lot, keep a blog or journal, outline story ideas but don't force things. I think that's why I've never participated in NaNoWriMo. It feels as if I'm forcing something that's not there or ready, although the writing challenge certainly works for some people. Eventually your muse will find you.
4) What is the best thing about being a writer?
Writing is therapeutic for me at times. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment and if you write fiction, which I do, you can go anywhere your mind takes you. I'm always thinking of ideas or scenarios...there's a sense of freedom in being able to create stories, characters and settings and webbing them all together to tell a tale. It's even better when those who read the stories enjoy them. Then you feel as if the time, effort, blood, sweat and tears have been worth it.
5) What is your advice for aspiring writers?
Be open to listening to advice and take it if it works for you. But always write for yourself. Follow your own muse. Grow a "thick skin" and let the rejection (which is an unfortunate part of the business) roll right off of you. Keep going, never get discouraged and, most importantly, believe in yourself.
6) What are you currently working on?
I'm tackling historical fiction (with perhaps a little paranormal twist) next. Research for it took me to southern Illinois this summer...the outline is coming along and I hope to begin soon. A sequel to my latest, DANIEL'S ESPERANZA, is waiting in the wings.