Diane Dreher [ddreher]
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
Nonfiction: spirituality, biography, life-writing. My latest book, Your Personal Renaissance, focuses on the quest for vocation in Renaissance artists, writers, scientists, and saints with validation by current research in psychology and neuroscience. Further information about my books is on my web site, www.dianedreher.com
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
I follow my curiosity, do lots of reading and research on my topic, and take notes, which I keep in folders. When I have enough material, I begin another book project. The actual writing I do after my morning meditation.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
First person most of the time, but it depends on what I'm writing.
What well known writers do you admire most?
Frances Moore Lappe, because she follows her curiosity and and writes with courage and commitment... Kathleen Norris, because her insights make every day sacred...Doris Kearns Goodwin, Nancy Unger, and David McCollough because they make history come alive.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
Yes--I always write about what I need to learn.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
I find my voice on a new level every time I write. Writers are always in the process of discovery.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I block out writing time and "Writing Retreat" days. Then I do my best to schedule other activities around them. I also keep track of my writing hours each week.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
The green cathedral of trees outside my study window, my favorite books, pictures of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and the Declaration of Independence on the wall, my little dachshund, Ginny, curled up next to my desk.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I usually write on a computer, print drafts and correct them in pencil, then go back to the computer. But sometimes when an idea comes to me I write on whatever I can find.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
I enjoy Goodreads--it's fun to log in and share insights about books I'm reading. I'm also on LinkedIn, which has an authors' group.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
I believe that all of our writing inspirations are gifts--ours to learn from and to share.
Ask yourself if you want to share these things you wrote or if they are part of your personal process. If they're personal, file them away to reflect on. If you want to share a piece of writing, first show it to a supportive friend, then look for venues to share with others.