At Dancing Bear Books we like to chat with the writers around us and see what they're up to. We recently caught up with writer, John Aridi and had the chance to ask some quick fire questions.
DBB: Do you find the process of writing agony or ecstasy?
JS: Writing is kind of teetering on that agony-ecstasy boundary - like a pleasant itch, or burning in muscles after good exercise. The real agony comes with hitting a hitch or a chunk of writer's block, but the sheer relief at moving past it or producing a paragraph or chapter that you like immediately? Sheer ecstasy.
DBB: How would you describe your writing routine?
JS: I... don't really have a routine, which is awful I know. I just pull up the work, pull up the music I listen to while writing, and do my best to put words on the page.
DBB: What’s your insight on traditional and non-traditional publishing routes?
JS: I had opinions on the publishing route I wanted to take when I first started writing, and found that those opinions were pretty ill-informed. I'd highly suggest that people do some research on the various angles one can approach agencies, publishers and self-publishing opportunities from, check out people's testimonies on what worked, and try and ascertain what will work for you!
DBB: What draws you to write the stories you write?
JS: The urge to tell those stories - the urge to show people the world that happens in my head, to showcase concepts, to bring to life characters that I try desperately to not fall in love with.
DBB: What are you working on at the moment?
JS: My current work is kinda-sorta military science fiction - sort of a Ballad of Halo Jones meets Gundam scenario. It's about chasing your dreams, doing the right thing, and giant robots.
DBB: What’s the most important quality to have as a writer?
JS: The most important quality to have as a writer - how do you even pick one? If I had to pick just one... vision. The ability to visualise everything from a tiny detail to the entirety of an arc. If you can see the story and hold it in your hands, you can put it on the page.
DBB: Top Tip for writer’s block?
JS: Writer's block smasher confirmed - write something else, or do something else. Put your head into a different place for a while. Come back refreshed, and without guilt.
DBB: For budding writers, what's your top tip for learning more about writing?
JS: The best way to learn more about writing is two-fold. Part one: Read more! Part two: Write more! It's a practicable skill. Practice practice practice!
DBB: You're favourite go-to writing exercise?
JS: The writing exercise I do the most is: What happens in my head when I listen to this song, and how would I write that? And then... writing that. Sometimes it results in nonsense but - hey, at least I put words on the page today!
DBB: Do you have advice for writers that are struggling with perseverance and rejection?
JS: The best advice I can give in terms of perseverance is that writing and getting published isn't a one-and-done. It's a process, an ongoing process. Almost every single published writer is published not only because they wrote good work, but because they had the guts and the gall to carry that work as far as was necessary to get it into print. It is literally within YOUR power. You CAN do it. Just believe in your work!
Deviant Art: @steelangeljohn
John Aridi is a writer, reader and nerd of middling provenance from the Isle of Wight in southern England. He writes science fiction primarily, and is thus far unpublished, but who knows when that will change? John writes about as many different futures as he can lay his hands on, often with robots, always with character.