GENRES: Creative nonfiction and Fiction
If you could offer one piece of writing advice to a novice author, what would it be?
Learn to love and embrace the art of revision.
How often do you write, and do you have a strict routine and writing plan?
On average, I write five days a week for six hours each day. I’m usually at my desk by 9:00 or 10:00 a.m. and I take little breaks throughout the day to chat with my husband and play with our dog in the backyard. I have a big calendar on my desk where I note project deadlines and I generally work intensely on one project at a time (i.e., a short story, essay, novel).
What kind of books do you enjoy reading and how often do you read?
I read a lot, but I’m a slow reader (and I like to savor each book) so I finish maybe eight to ten books a year. These days, I read mostly literary and women’s fiction novels, but I’ve also read many wonderful memoirs and short story/essay collections.
Does the idea of writing energize you or exhaust you? Or both?
For the most part, writing energizes me, but every now and then, when a draft isn’t taking shape, I wallow for about thirty minutes feeling convinced that I should give up writing for, I don’t know, a career as a professional pickleball player and that’s exhausting. Then after a little break and some coffee or, better yet, chocolate, I sit down at my desk again, get to work, and everything’s fine.
What is your goal/dream as an author?
I’m in this for the long haul, so my goal as an author is to steadily hone my writing craft and see my work get better and better.
Did your formal education or upbringing/background prepare you in any way to write?
My upbringing prepared me to write. I was one of four children in a rather noisy household, and I loved retreating into silence by going outside and walking through a nearby woods or climbing a tree. Those times of solitude gave my mind room to explore my imagination.
Much later, when I was fifty-five years old, I embarked on an MFA in Creative Writing and participating in that rigorous writing program with wonderful faculty members challenged me to take my writing to the next level and hunger for further improvement.
Laurie Woodford is a memoirist, fiction writer and essayist whose work has appeared in The Antioch Review, The Chattahoochee Review, The Minnesota Review, Little Patuxent Review and Catamaran. For over twenty years, she taught English to college students in the U.S., South Korea, and China. She holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. Originally from upstate New York, Laurie now lives with her amazing husband, Bruce, and wonder dog, Journey, in Georgetown, Texas.