Personally, I had a great education. My mum was a trained teacher, a Montessori teacher, and I know that I could not have written 'Eragon' if I had gone into a public school system because I would have just been too busy attending classes and doing homework - I wouldn't have had the time to write.
I've stood outside my house in Montana looking at the northern lights... crackling against the night sky. To me, that's magic.
I think I learned most from editing, both editing myself and having someone else edit me. It's not always easy to have someone criticize your work, your baby. But if you can swallow your ego, you can really learn from the editing.
If I spent my time worrying about what other people would think of my work, I would be too self-conscious to write.
I find inspiration in many places. Sometimes music gives me the kernel of a story. Sometimes it's dissatisfaction with the plot of a movie or a book that gets me thinking. Sometimes it's love of a movie or book.
I have 20 or 30 books completely plotted out in my mind - mysteries, thrillers, horror, romance, science fiction. You name it.
Basically, I would be happy with any profession where I got to be creative and make things.
I'm the sort of person that starts digging a hole and doesn't stop until it's finished.
I've always been very grateful that enough people have enjoyed reading what I've written that I've been able to pursue writing professionally.
I built two forges when I was in my teens. I was just really, really into metalworking and making stuff.
If you want to be a professional writer then you need to write consistently. Inspiration strikes about once every blue moon which, for me, is once every two and a half to three months, which is when I'll get really and truly inspired about something.
Just writing a lot doesn't necessarily make you a better writer. You have to hear yourself as a writer, and the best way to do that is to read your writing out loud.
The advantage of writing from experience is that it often provides you with details that you would never think of yourself, no matter how rich your imagination. And specificity in description is something every writer should strive for.
I love telling stories and I love writing so the fact that I can do it professionally is something that I've always been very grateful for.
I don't discuss my own beliefs in public, but I will say the beliefs I've given my characters do not necessarily represent what I myself believe.
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