Matt Potter joins PQ today to talk about his writing process.
Thanks for joining me from across the globe — or downunder.
On the Bitch strays a little from the romance usually featured here but I have to say it sounds very interesting and who hasn’t spent an uncomfortable weekend with old friends only to wonder exactly what you mean when you said ‘old friends’.
On the Bitch is available on Amazon click here
Without further ado:
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Ha! I don’t much enjoy listening to writers talk about writing, so really, writers often exhaust me … what I do find energising is hearing about the other parts of writer’s lives. This is often much more interesting for me and can often be where inspiration and ideas come from.
What are common traps for aspiring writers, or any writer?
Taking it all way way way too seriously. If writing it is a dirge, then reading it will surely be a dirge also.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
Oh, depends upon what the writer does with the big ego. What I do know is a small ego doesn’t usually go far. Some big egos hide behind pretend small ones. These can be dangerous and sneaky.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym (or do you already)?
It surprises me how many people do – with some genres it seems to occur more than others – and often, there does not seem to be much reason for it beyond … well, I don’t know, really, what the point is, other than having some fun with alter egos. That’s a good enough reason to adopt one, though, but an issue can be who does someone address an email to, especially of you know the name you know of is a pseudonym but you don’t know what the real name is?
If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?
Be more focused and disciplined (in a good way) and be a better team participant in the creative realm.
What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?
No no no no no … there is nothing important for anyone to do beyond sleeping, eating, drinking, pissing, shitting and having the occasional wank. That’s all … the rest is just gravy.
What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?
I tend to take things people say or do but not whole characters … if you take much more, you have to be faithful to the original people and that can lock you in and stifle the creativity.
What does literary success look like to you?
Being able to write and do what I want, and not have to worry about money. To be respected for what I do, and maybe even admired. That said, the third point is not happening soon enough!
How many hours a day do you write?
Often, not at all … when the balls are rolling, then a few hours maybe. I don’t beat myself over the head about it, there are always roses outside that need to be smelled. Life is about more than just writing (and reading), a lot lot lot more. Being a writer doesn’t have to involve being a hermit, living in your head and / or your heart and always seeking a quiet space. That is too limiting anyway. Live and experience and hopefully, that will help with your writing.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Yes – I have not had a bad one so far … readers seem to know what I do and what I don’t do and appreciate that.
More about Matt:
Matt Potter is the author of a travel memoir, Hamburgers and Berliners and other courses in between; two collections of short fiction and non-fiction, Vestal Aversion and Based on True Stories; two teacher resource books for English as a Second Language teachers, all you need is … a whiteboard, a marker and this book (volumes 1 and 2); and the novella in flash On the Bitch. A teacher and a social worker in his other lives, he lives in Adelaide, South Australia.