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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Five Questions: The Writing Life

1. Why do you blog?
I blog to surround myself with like-minded people – kindred spirits – especially writers working towards publication. The support I get from my ‘blogging friends’ is unmeasurable. Also, it’s motivating for me to read about other writers’ journeys. Along the way I’ve learned to care about other aspects of their lives. I believe all bloggers (unknowingly) give more than they get from blogging – and they get a lot, at least I do.

2. Which author and/or book has most influenced you?
The book that has most influenced my writing journey is Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. Her words make me want to write, whether or not that path leads to publication.
The author that has most influenced me is Holly Lisle. She is one of the most generous published authors I know in the way she gives back to writers. Her site and blog ( have pages and pages of advice. She lets aspiring authors in to take a peek at her ‘writing life.’ On top of that, she’s a great writer.

3. Which three blogs do you most visit?
Holly Lisle’s Pocket Full of Words at:
Michelle Rowen at:
Paperback Writer at:

4. Why do you read fiction?
I used to read fiction to become other people and lose myself in other worlds. Now, I also analyze fiction to see how all I’ve learned is put into practice. Unfortunately, it’s getting harder and harder to get lost.

5. What makes you laugh?
Aside from Michelle Rowen (OMG she’s funny), simple things make me laugh. In life I like playfulness, in fiction I like mature humor. I prefer a humor that isn’t angry (sarcasm) or too physical (slapstick). I like the private jokes that come with intimate friendship and flirty smiles that are shared between strangers. It doesn’t take much to make me laugh, and less to make me smile. Even my dog has a good sense of humor. I like the saying, “I saw a man without a smile, so I gave him one.” I also like to get caught off guard and blow beer out of my nose on occasion.

Nienke Hinton blogs at The Writing Life, which can be found here:

3 Responses to “Five Questions: The Writing Life”

  1. Nienke says:

    Very astute and profound! LOL
    Thx John!

  2. The Narrator says:

    I stumble back to writing and reading real stuff after being buried in academic crap for the past two weeks (why do educators tend to write so badly?), and hurry here to see what new gifts you have brought us. Thanks again John.

  3. Sayre says:

    Great answers. I love Anne Lamott too. BIRD BY BIRD was wonderful. I also enjoyed Stephen King’s ON WRITING. Both those books inspire me to write – whatever it is I am writing.