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FAQs

These questions are about a great number of things: Some are about me as a person, as a writer and why I do what I do. Other questions help explain how to navigate this blog and some are fun and random. Use the comment section at the bottom to ask me your own questions so you can get to know me and I will be happy to add them to this list and even link back to your website/blog to show my appreciation! Enjoy getting to know me, Ava Elaine!




1. Why do you call yourself a "Writer Extraordinaire?" 
I call myself a Writer Extraordinaire because I am more than just a writer. I am a mother and a woman of many hats since I write, I blog, I freelance, I design, I educate, I research, I run businesses, I review, I proofread/edit...As you can see, my life does not stop at just writing a few words on a simple page. I take on a lot to completely fill my life with wonderful experiences and also to fulfill my goals.


2. Do you ever get writer's block? If so, how do you cure it?
I get writer's block at least once a day and it can be very distracting and frustrating. I do many different things to get ideas stirring. I may get up from my computer and take a 15 minute walk with my son to clear my head. I sometimes do a little word association where I start with a main word (usually related to what I'm trying to write about) and I think of words associated to the last and it is like a long brainstorm for my writing process. Another thing I do to "cure" my writer's block is I put my writing aside for a few minutes and I sing karaoke online. It gets me creative in a different way and it wipes the slate clean so I can try taking a step in the "write" direction!


3. Why do you write?(Asked by James Schumacher)
I write for many reasons, but when I first found out how much I loved writing, I used it as an outlet. An outlet for my angst, my rants, my view of the world and my multitude of emotions. As I got older, I realized that I still need writing for those reasons, but now I can expand on my passion and write for a purpose; a reason for those words I put to paper...or computer screen. I want to leave a legacy. I probably won't be even close to a William Shakespeare, but I want to write to create a memory of me. Even if it is only one person, preferably my son (lol), that means my memory and talent will carry on after I am gone. I also write to help others who have gone through what I have. As you get to know me and read my writing, you will see the importance of this particular reason for writing. I want to be that person that someone looks to in their time of uncertainty or sadness and they realize that no matter how small they may feel, they do matter and they do have a purpose on this Earth. I want to leave a mark on at least one person's heart, so that' why I write. 

4. What genre do you write?(Asked by Ashelynn Sanford)
I write a lot of different things. First off, I am a freelance writer and creative designer where I write/design things for clients like articles, business literature, logos, etc. But I also write articles on Associated Content AND I'm working on a few books and eBooks. I also write poetry, short stories and am attempting to put a 2 year-old novel to rest (long story). I just have so many ideas and types of things I work on, so to put a genre on my writing is hard. If I had to name some of them they would be self-help, marketing, work at home, suspense, dramas, romance, relationships, emotional, etc.


5. What were/are your influences?
I don't want to sound too cliché, but all of the "great" writers/artists/people had a lot to do with my inspiration of wanting to be a writer. People like J.D. Salinger, Ernest Hemingway, Albert Camus, Jack Kerouac, Tom Wolfe, Dylan Thomas, Emily Dickinson, Henry David Thoreau, Georgia O'Keefe, William Butler Yeats, Edgar Allan Poe, Virginia Woolf, Jean Paul Sartre, Maya Angelou, Harper Lee and many more I can't think of at the moment. I know not all of these people are writers, but each one has influenced or inspired me in some way or another. Some of these people had a unique way of thinking or they didn't care what others thought about their left-sided brain thinking. I love that.


6. What are your biggest vices-things you cannot live without?
I hate to say it but I can't get enough of reality television. I don't know if I just like the drama they usually go through or what, but it's just so darn addicting! I also can't live without my son, music, singing, Karaoke, cheese, coffee, salt water taffy, daisies, writing (obviously), bloopers, Meg Ryan, roller coasters, pineapples, incense, windchimes, cooking/baking, sleeping in blue jeans (I can't explain it!), untouched snow, thunderstorms and rain, poker, the Internet...did I mention writing? 


7. If your life was made into a movie, who would play you?
That's a hard one, but I've always felt that Natalie Portman has a great talent for wearing her heart and emotions on her sleeves like I sometimes do. Not to mention she is adorable, beautiful and an intense actress. That's how I would want to be portrayed as...intense.


8. What are you working on right now?
Currently, I am working on many different things:
-I add content I've written in the past on Associated Content and I still have many, many things to still add that I've done.
-I also have 2 yellow legal pages full of fresh, original content/articles that I've got scheduled to write about.
-I have 2 eBooks on the back burner: 1 about Canine Diseases and 1 about Rainy Day Activities.
-In November 2008, I wrote a novel in 30 days for National Novel Writing Month and I still am not happy with it. I am always adding/editing it, but I plan on having it completely done by Christmas. lol. A huge thing that is also holding me back is I don't know if I want to turn the novel into a blog. (It's hard to explain!) 
-I am also currently working on putting a book idea into the form of a proposal to see if anyone would be interested in publishing it.
-I am always writing poetry.
-And I'm working on this blog, of course.
-I am either working on other things for clients or I'm always looking for new clients to hire me for my freelancing, creative designing, etc. experience.


9. Why do you have sections for your writings on here when people can just go straight to your Associated Content profile?
Sure, I could just send you to the full length articles, content or poetry right away, but I added them on here with their summaries and the reasons behind writing them. That way, you get an idea of my motivations for each piece that I do and so you can be connected to me, the writer instead of just seeing words.


10. Why do you mention some of your content more than once in your sections?
Some of the things I’ve written about can be in more than one category. For example: My article 10 Ways to Balance Work and Life can  be under all the categories of health, parenting and articlezs that I have have here on my blog. It's because they all apply to the topic or content that is being covered.


11. Is most of your writing (besides the researched pieces with facts) based on things that have happened in your life?
Actually, yes. A big portion of the things I write are based on events, feelings, etc. that have happened to me. If I don't directly come out and say it, I like to use metaphors or other writing tools so I don't give everything away.


12. How do you benefit from comments left by others on your pages or blog posts
I like getting feedback because the people who read what I write are my audience, so I should have some kind of idea of what they like or dislike about my work. It also makes me feel good and accomplished to hear praise, constructive criticism or a simple hello to know there are people out there reading my stuff. Comments are also important to me because I plan on having lots of contests for people who leave me comments.


13. Do you take donations? Why?
Yes I do take donations. I take donations to use for marketing costs, to pay for prizes, to pay for other costs of working at home, etc. To donate any amount, visit my Chip-In Page.


14. What is the method you use to add your writing to the pages in your blog-do you just throw your work up any old way?
I’ve added what I already have published either on Associated Content or elsewhere. Once I write more, I will add them as I go-with the most recent ones always being at the top of the pages I add them to. This will still keep all of the other things I’ve worked on remaining on the page, just moved down. 


15. Where can I access your Associated Content Contributor profile with some of your published work?
Just visit this page to see the content I have on my Associated Content profile, but if you'd like to read the summaries and motivations behind them all, go to my Articles section or Poetry and Short Stories section.

16. How many articles have you written for your clients?
Honestly, way too many to count, but I've also written eBooks, created logos, written business literature and several other things for clients over the years. You can visit my Creative Design Portfolio or the Hire Me section where it displays a list of all the things I have done before. 


17. Do you ever have contests or prizes here on your blog?
Yes! I want to get my readers involved, to comment and to give them great prizes to say thanks for following my work. I plan on having several contests, prizes, drawings and fun activities, so stay tuned!


18. Do you give your clients a heads up when you display or publish the material you've done for them online?
Yes, I always make it clear that in order to keep an up-to-date portfolio on record for any future clients, I will be displaying any work I complete. I always mention I’ve done something for a client, though, or link back to them.


19. What is your professional slogan and what does it mean to you?
"Creating something beautiful every day." This slogan means several things to me. Even though I am a writer, I still want to do beautiful things in my life so the quote also means to put everything I've got into something; to make it a reflection of me, my personality...my soul. It also stands for what I want to accomplish as a parent-to mentor my son and instill in him what it means to be a kind, creative and respectful human being. I also want to create beautiful, lasting relationships and friendships because life is way too short.


20. Even though you are a writer and creative designer and you are able to do several different things for clients, what would you love to be doing right now if you could do whatever you dreamed of?
I love what I do, don't get me wrong, but something I've always wanted to do is acting. I have a great comfortability with my emotions and myself, so I think I would be a pretty good actress. I am a fairly emotional person (the good kind lol) so dramas, horror or suspense would be great for me : )


21. What degree(s) have you earned?
I graduated from High School with Honors. I went to college, but never finished for both family and personal reasons. I wasn't ready to be tied down to a degree back then because I was confused as to why I should have a piece of paper telling me I knew how to write. Not that I was trying to be arrogant or claim that I knew everything, I just feel sometimes that having experiences, a strong conviction and a great ability to write is enough to make it in this world. I am self-taught in most everything that I have accomplished, so I think I've done a pretty good job considering. I do hate being judged, though, when people hear I don't have a degree, but I digress.


22. You are pretty young; how did you learn how to write or become an expert on so many things, for that matter?
Even though I am young, I can impart my own wisdom and experience. I've always felt like I grew up mentally and emotionally faster than most people my age. People who get to know me realize that I'm not like most 25 year olds. Even before I had my son, I wasn't the party-til-all-hours-of-the-night kinda girl. I am mature and that has brought me very far. I have learned through my experiences, my mistakes and the raw human thread of existence that I've lived. I read, I research, I network and I try to better myself every day. 


23. What topics do you have experience with?
I actually cover I wide array of topics, that's why sometimes it's hard for me to say I'm any one kind of genre writer...because I'm not. Some of the topics/keywords I cover in articles, short stories, poems and other kinds of work are: making money, recipes, free, how to, parenting, make money, marketing, work at home, sports, suicide, signs of suicide, cooking, pets, nature, music, movies, marketing, depression, ecommerce, outsourcing, losing weight, diet plans, exercise, family planning and much more!  


24. How do you decide what you will write about?
I actually have a list of all the work I've written for people, for myself and things I just have lying around. I also have a huge list of content ideas I have thought of. I take these two lists and assign each individual topic or idea with a number. I then use random.org to choose what topics I will be using or writing for any particular day. I have been kind of behind lately since I've been working on getting this blog finished, but I actually have a schedule taped on my wall next to my computer with topics from now until 2 weeks from now every time I do this writing "lottery" as Jamie Debree lovingly called it :D


25. Do you take on new clients?
Yes I always take on new clients on a first come, first served basis. If you interested in being a new client of mine go here and I will write you up a quote as soon as I can.


26. What are your favorite words?
I love words and I've always loved Spelling, Language Arts, English, etc. I also loved learning new words and their definitions. Some of my favorite words from the English language are: exuberance, inspiration, nonchalant,  atrocious, ubiquitous, disarming, conscientious and cellar door (sorry, I'm a Donnie Darko fan lol).


27. What are your least favorite words?
For anyone who is close to me, they know there are several words I cringe at the sound of. Those words are: moist, ointment, pudding skin, shackle and beseech. I hate these next words only because most people don't say them correctly:excruciating, profusely and supposedly. Man, it makes my teeth hurt-haha!


28. What sort of things do you like to do for fun?
I like to play with my son, go on walks, go to the park, sing Karaoke, go to garage sales, sell stuff online, listen to music, clean and organize, bowl, go to the movies and more. 


29. What advice can you give to fellow or aspiring writers?
When I first started writing over 14 years ago, I thought that writing was something you should keep to yourself. As I slowly began to share that part of me with the world, I realizes that it was a good thing. It gives you feedback, it makes you vulnerable in a good way and it shows others how creative and talented you can really be. My advice to aspiring writers would be to get a mentor to cheer you on and support you with proofreading, constructive critiques and positive reinforcement or find a network of like-minded individuals to share your work with. Above all, put your work out there-it's for your own good. I would also like to tell fellow writers to never give up on what you love doing and to grow a thick skin because not everyone will like what you write, but someone will! Write, write, write!!


© Ava Elaine 2010

2 comments:

James Schumacher said...

Nice to see your response to my question. I have been pondering all the reasons that I write, and why I am trying to do that on a much more regular basis now. Part of that is simply just to "get stuff out", and as you said if my experiences can help someone else out, that is a big bonus.

Kathleen Dougherty said...

Taking a clue from Bernard Pivot if you could take on any other profession what would it be? Also, the opposite - What profession would you never want to attempt?

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