Adam Morgan asked Jeff VanderMeer:
Percentage-wise, how often is the writing process pleasurable for you (versus painful)? How do you motivate yourself to keep writing when it's painful/torturous or when you become temporarily disillusioned with your work?
Jeff VanderMeer I'm very much pain-averse when it comes to writing. So if for some reason I'm stuck on something, I'll move on to some other part for a while, or some other writing project. By the time I come back, the old thing is usually fresh enough to be inspiring. If it isn't, I'll just tell myself I can fix everything in the editing process and power on through. I do a fair amount of writing avoidance, too, that's about giving myself enough time to think about what I'm working on. An awful lot of writing occurs in your thoughts rather than in the typing. I guess, too, when you've been doing it as long as I have you recognize that temporary disillusionment is just a phase. So you develop the patience to ride it out. And sometimes you can actually use your negative emotions--they come out through character or situation in an interesting, useful way.
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Jared asked Jeff VanderMeer:
The first Southern Reach was incredible, probably one of my top ten faves; I haven't yet gotten a chance to read the second. I've always had a soft spot for intense novels with strong female characters: what inspired you to write one with nothing BUT strong female characters? (In my opinion, it turned out great, suspenseful and thrilling without falling into any tired tropes or stereotypes.) Thanks for your time!
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