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Jason Diamond, founder of Vol. 1 Brooklyn and Literary Editor at Flavorwire
Where do you write? Do you have a set place? Or can you write anywhere?
I usually stick to the desk in my living room. It's comfortable, my dog sits by me, and there are a ton of books for me to look at when I'm feeling like I'm in need of some inspiration. I can pretty much write anywhere, but I have this weird thing where I'll look at a coffee shop, and something will set me off that it isn't the right place for me to set up camp: the coffee isn't good, the music sucks, the chairs aren't comfortable, etc.
What time of day do you like to write?
Pretty much any time of the day, but I think I do my best stuff in the afternoon.
Do you set yourself a time limit? Or do you try to reach a specific word count?
Nah. I keep going back and forth, taking breaks, coming up with ideas; but I try to never limit myself. I'm pretty obsessive about my work, and feel like self-imposed limitations would only make things easier, and nobody wants that.
Do you need quiet to write? Or do you need music? What kind of music?
Depends. I like the quiet, but I especially like instrumental stuff and droney music playing in the background. From Sunn O))) and William Basinski to Explosions in the Sky and Tortoise, or more classical and new-classical stuff like Glass, Rachel's or Max Richter. It really depends on my mood.
What is your number one procrastination tool? Just kidding! It's the Internet, right? Of course it is. So, specifically, what on the Internet is your own personal black hole?
I get wrapped up in my own thoughts too much, and just start to over-think the hell out of things. If that happens, I obsessively reorganize my bookshelf or just start talking to myself.
What do you do to break out of a bout of writer's block? Please share any and all tricks.
Thankfully, I don't get hit with writer's block all that often. When I do, I try and find non-writing things to think about and occupy myself with.
Who is the first person you share your writing with and why do you turn to her or him?
My wife. She's brutally honest and also the smartest person I know.
What is one "rule" that you follow as a writer? Writers always seem to be coming up with lists of rules. Or are you not into rules? Maybe you're not into lists? What's the deal?
I think rules would mess me up too much. I like being as spontaneous as I can be. I will say that I'm a crazy note taker, and that if future generations were to see the way I did that, they'd think that I had my own language that came with some really horrendous style of writing.
Do you compulsively edit as you write? Or do you write a lot and go back and then cringe at how many times you repeat the same word over and over? Which, what is that word?
No, no, no. I've learned never edit while writing. Always a bad move that will get you stuck in the mud. Obviously edit like a mad person, but wait until you're all finished.
What is the best advice you've ever received about writing? And, no, it doesn't need to have come from another writer.
It isn't advice per se, but I've learned the most important stuff from harsh editors and various people/publications that have rejected my work. There have been editors that have handed me back things, and all I can think is, "This person is the absolute worst," and people that rejected me, and explained why. You don't necessarily want to wear these things as a badge of honor, or live your life by what other people told you was wrong about your work; the trick is to take it all in, and use it to make yourself better and better.