@JoeCottonwood - 5Qi

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Q1. What is the hardest part of writing for you? 

Answer: The hardest part is stopping. When I'm writing, it's in my head 24/7. I become detached from people, from the moment-to-moment social necessities of smiling and paying attention to what somebody is saying. I act like a zombie.

Q2. Why do you write?

Answer: Because I can't stop. I wrote my first story at age 8. Now I'm almost 68. Still writing.

Q3. Where do you get your inspiration?

Answer: Well, I don't want to alarm the mental health professionals, but there are voices in my head. That's the Muse. Mostly she talks about stuff that has actually happened to me, except she bends the real events into stories or poems. Sort of like dreams. Then I write them down. That's how I process all the weird events in life. It's my reality-distortion coping mechanism. Like when my dog recently died, I wrote some poems about it ("Circle of Day, Circle of Night"). Not to exploit the event but to come to terms with it, and hopefully to find some meaning, some beauty in the sadness.

Q4. What is your favorite quote?

Answer: "Try to leave out the parts that people skip." - Elmore Leonard.

Q5. Why are you on Wattpad?  

Answer: This is the question my writer friends ask me in one form or another. "You mean they don't pay you?" Well, yeah. Because this is a friendly community and I get a kick out of all the supportive comments and votes. I'm posting poetry, and there's really no hope of getting paid as a poet anywhere. I'm socially awkward and basically a curmudgeon, but in spite of my handicaps I've made friends here and discovered a lot of poets who are just coming into blossom. It's such a pleasure to see them develop. And I'm developing, too. The community here has helped me grow. Some day I might actually write something good.

Q6. Have you been published other than here on Wattpad?

Answer: I've had eleven books published starting in 1973. Some were pretty popular but not bestsellers. I never figured out how to make a living from books. I'm a success as a writer but a failure as an author. I've supported myself with construction work.

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Bonus question added. This option was offered to everyone.

#5Qi - August 19, 2015

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