4. When real world obligations mount, how do you keep your excitement for writing and whatever project you're working on?
Take a break. I'm so tired of the advice, "You must write every day. No matter what."
You know what? Not everyone can do that. Not everyone wants to do that. There are no rules in writing. There are guidelines. And while this is a good one, it doesn't apply to everyone all the time.
If you need a break, take one. I got to the point where I was so bitter I couldn't stand writing anymore. I took six months off. And I have no guilt about it. Seriously, if you're unpublished, you have no deadlines. No commitments. You're free. Enjoy it.
5. What do you do if you find yourself stalled on a project? What do you study to get your creative juices flowing on a new project, or to twist an old project and re-invigorate it?
This is a fun one.
To get the creative juices going: Watch a good movie. Read a good book. Listen to inspiring music. Take a break.
If you're stalled: usually it's because I've got my editor hat on instead of my writer hat. The first draft is messy. It's doesn't make sense, it's chubby, and cluttered. I find myself constant reminding myself, "I'll fix it later."
6. How do you keep your personal momentum for a project before you're a "discovered" author?
I give myself deadlines. I want to have book X ready for conference Y. I'm going to have this one ready to query by X.
Having a regular meeting writers group helps too. You have to have something to share, and it's fun.
7. How do you work toward getting to the point where you're prepared to be seen as professional?
I have no idea. I'll let you know if I ever figure it out.
What rules do you break?