In LWOTW, writers share their thoughts about the craft and business of writing, with tips for aspiring writers and inspiration for all booklovers.
LWOTW: When did you write your first story?
Vacen: I imagine that would be in grade one but perhaps not my best work. My first published story was written in 2009. It was a sci-fi flash fiction story written for an American e-zine.
LWOTW: What do you think of dreams, imagination, and planning?
In the stages of sleep, I love the fact that dreams are involuntary. Dreams today are still not entirely understood but they have been the subject for many writers, both scientific and academic. They have also been the stimulus for many famous stories. However, if I’m talking about hopes and dreams, having a yearning for something to manifest into reality, then I believe cherishing ambition from our imagination is vital for writers. But fantasising about the future won’t help us unless we work hard to fulfil those dreams. Of course, not all dreams come true, well, not always the way our visions might have created them in our imagination.
Speaking of imagination and forming new ideas, I believe it is the most creative resource we can own. Nothing is more powerful than our imagination. I can’t remember who said this but, if we can imagine it we can create it. True on most counts. And usually that requires a plan.
Ah, planning is a two-edged sword for me. Gardener or architect? I’m a gardener when it comes to a lot of my writing and not so much of an architect. So, I receive the seeds through my imagination. I plant them. I water them and watch them grow. The exception to that is screenwriting. I plan the script using a beat sheet. This works well for me when writing a feature film or short film script.
However, if I’m writing an essay for university then it is most definitely planned. Poetry and novels I allow to flow creatively.
LWOTW: What’s the highlight of your writing career so far?
I’ve had a few different highlights over my career so far. Signing my first publishing contract was a huge goal but the highlight of that came when I received my first box of books. #BoxOfBooksDay Yay!
Winning the 2016 Best Short Screenplay “Foiled” at The Good Dog International Film Festival was a highlight. Then receiving a commendation in the 2018 British International Film Festival was an amazing highlight.
Another highlight was having my #8wordstory up on the GOA billboards around Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
LWOTW: That’s a lot of great highlights already! What are you most busy with at the moment?
I balance my time between a few different forms of writing. Poetry. Novels. Screenwriting. Short stories. At the moment essay writing for a university is taking up a little more time than creative writing. However, I include my creative writing into my schedule each day.
LWOTW: If you could say one thing to aspiring writers, what would it be?
The answer to this question keeps changing every time I’m asked it. And I’ll tell you the reason why.
A writer continues to grow and change psychologically, biologically, spiritually and socially throughout their life. Psychological change might include learning how to reflect on our personal experiences and successfully introducing change to our life. Of course, we don’t have control over biological change, but this change cannot be ignored because our body grows older. We are often challenged by that change. This change can affect how a writer might view his or her work, the subjects they write about and the way they write. Spiritual change is different for everyone. It happens to some early in their life and for others it comes as they mature or age. Over time our social and behavioural patterns change. Our culture and social norms might change, either involuntary or voluntary, but they do change.
So year by year my answer to this question changes because I’m changing.
The answer this year is…
- Don’t look sideways. By that I mean don’t compare your work to others.
- Write your way until you fall into your voice.
- Learn through experience. Nothing teaches you about life like experience.
- Become familiar with speaking about your work. This is often harder than you think.
And the Last Word of The Week: What’s your favourite colour?
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