Friday, October 11, 2013

Guest Post Author Cathy Cruise

Cathy Cruise is the host of the popular blog Write Despite

How/why did you start to write?
I’ve been writing since a poem I wrote about a fish in first grade got pinned up on the bulletin board. In fifth grade I wrote a book of poems, in sixth grade I started the first of many novels that I never finished (a pattern that has endured, sadly). In ninth grade I started keeping a journal under my mattress and HAD to write in it nearly every night until I was almost 30. It was the only time I felt like I’d explode if I didn’t get all my thoughts down on paper. Then I met my husband and stopped writing in it. Maybe I just told him all those thoughts instead and no longer needed the journal? Or maybe he’s just helped kill my creativity. (I need someone to blame.)

What was your first published piece?
My first published piece was a story called “Number Three Thousand and Six” in New Virginia Review. My professor at the time, Richard Bausch, was a guest editor for that issue and was kind enough to take my work. This was in 1994. A lifetime ago.

What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?
Well I guess the writing career I’ve had would be the freelance writing business I ran for eight years, and the wildly varied jobs as an editor/writer at different organizations. Prior to that, I was working on a bachelor’s in English and a master’s in creative writing. And yes, both degrees helped me enormously.

What inspires you?
Reading. And not just great literature, but anything that gives me ideas, or resonates, or reminds me of something I’m working on. I’m often inspired by reading something horrible too, just because I feel like, well hell, even I could do better than that.

Please share one of your successful author platform building techniques
Not sure how successful our platform is. We have nearly 400 followers now, so that’s encouraging, I guess…? Others have far more, of course. To start, I read many of the internet hints that tell you how to build a platform—start a blog, post regularly, respond to comments, put the word out on Facebook and Twitter, etc. I know we could be doing LOTS more to promote our platform though. And we welcome all ideas!!!

Parting words
Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts here. I love your blog and have learned so much from postings like yours. The sense of community we’ve managed to nourish and enjoy has been the best part of this whole experience. Write well, everyone!