Of All the Stupid Things

As my friend, writer Alexandra Diaz, celebrates the publication of her wonderful debut novel, Of All the Stupid Things, she also shares some advice and thoughts about the writing life.

*What advice do you have to writers?

If writing is what you really want to do then keep at it, and keep at it some more. All artists encounter people who tell them that they will never make it, but you’re the only one who can make that decision.

*What do you think was the most crucial move you made in your writing life that pushed you toward publication?

Whether it’s at the neighborhood library or through a university, getting constructive criticism is crucial. When you write, you’re very close to the world in your book and it’s hard to see the faults. Having people point out this doesn’t work, this character comes across too two-dimensional, this chapter should go somewhere else, and so on is extremely helpful. I know that if not for my friends at Bath Spa University in England, my current book would not be published.

*Can you share any bits of wisdom you've gleaned?

Don’t waste a lot of time initially in getting the beginning (or any other section) perfect because you can always go back and fix it later. It’s better to get the whole thing out on the computer or paper first. That way you know the story and the character’s voice is established, and the beginning could very well be very different once you get to the end.

What's your next book?

I have a few things in the works so we’ll see which one makes it next.

What is your writing career plan?

I love to travel. I’m never happier when I have a new place or old favorite to visit. It’s great that writing encourages and supports that. I also want to get involved in Writer in Residency or Visiting Lecture programs in university. Though writing will always be my career, it’s nice to have other jobs on the side.

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