Writers on Writing: Victoria Fry

victoria-fry-headshotVictoria Fry is a writing coach who’s there to be your creative catalyst and help you tell the stories jostling for room in your heart and mind!

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?

That there’s no one size fits all definition for what makes someone a “real” writer. We all have our own habits, our own rituals, our own processes, and our own way of doing things, and people who (hopefully unintentionally) make you feel like a “lesser” writer because of the way you conduct your writing life are totally off-base.

I’m going to cheat a little and mention a second thing, but it’s related to what I just said and equally as important, and that’s that we create in seasons. We don’t have to be writing thousands of words every day to make progress with our writing. In fact, doing that and nothing else is a good way not to make progress. We need time to take care of ourselves, toy with writing prompts and new ideas, and delve into the planning stages, too, or we’ll pay the price mentally, physically, and creatively.

I call these different steps along the way “creative seasons” because they follow a cyclical pattern, and certain seasonal qualities match up well with the different stages, e.g. spring’s sense of refreshment and renewal with our need for self-care. The more we allow ourselves to move through each of the creative seasons, the better equipped we are for a long, productive, and joyful creative life.

How has this helped you as a writer?

It helped me salvage my love of writing. I got so caught up in industry standards and the “right” way to do things that I almost gave up writing for good. It was only once I’d walked away from it for a while and then come back to it with an open mind, one that was determined to combine the joy of writing I felt as a youngster with the discipline I’ve developed over time, that writing and I found each other again. This time it’s for keeps.

Mac or PC?

I’m a PC gal, through and through!

Do you use Word or Scrivener?

Microsoft Word. I’ve heard wonderful things about Scrivener and am particularly keen to check out its formatting options for ebooks, but I’ve loved writing in Microsoft Word for well over a decade. I don’t think that’ll change anytime soon.

Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?

I don’t have either of those, but I do occasionally send myself text messages with story notes if I’m out and about without a notebook or my bullet journal, or if it’s late at night and I don’t want to turn on the light. I know, I know, the glare from the screen is awful, but I counteract that with an app called “Twilight,” which makes it much easier on the eyes.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Listening to music. What I listen to depends on my mood at the time, which character I’m writing about, and what’s going on in the scene. It could be anything from dubstep to pop to country, but I usually pull up RainyMood.com and have that in the background, too. If I’m really struggling to focus, sometimes RainyMood is all I’ll listen to.

Do you start by writing or researching first?

I might write a line or two, if the first thing that comes to mind is a scene (this usually happens if I’ve been inspired while watching a movie or TV show) but otherwise I tend to spend some time getting to know my characters and the stories behind their story first.

As for actual research, I do enough that I can write my rough draft without stopping every four seconds to look something up. Otherwise, I add placeholders in all caps that I can sort out as I work my way through the second draft.

Favorite spot to write in the winter?

I mostly write on my desktop computer at the moment, but if I’m using my laptop or (occasionally) writing by hand, in winter I love heading down to Starbucks, cozying up in one of their armchairs, sipping a cup of cocoa with a dollop of whipped cream, and listening to Christmas songs while I write.

Favorite spot to write in the summer?

As much as I’d love to be able to write outside during the summer, I usually end up just basking like a cat in the sun. That means if any heavy writing sessions are going to happen, I have to sit my butt down at my desk, put my headphones on, start up a music playlist, and tune out all the summer loveliness outside. When I’m done, then I can enjoy the summer sun.

Visit Victoria’s website for the latest news.

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco. All Rights Reserved.

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