Today, we’re talking with Angela England. I first “met” Angela through Suite101, and soon found her to be a great source of encouragement and inspiration for other writers. She’s always quick with a kind word or some valuable information. Her writing has been featured in numerous publications, including Massage and Bodywork Magazine.
I think you’ll enjoy Angela’s positive outlook and her thoughts on what makes a writer successful.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how long have you been writing?
I grew up in Southern California – big city, near Disneyland – but I now live in rural Oklahoma and love it. I have been writing in my diary since 1st grade, but I have been writing for MONEY for three years now.
What types of writing do you do?
Freelance non-fiction writing for the vast majority of all my writing. I write lots of web content for public websites and also for private contracts. If someone has a business website they are trying to optimize and create great copy for, I am your woman!
What’s the best thing about writing?
I love the flexibility writing provides me. I can choose almost any topic in the world and find someone willing to pay me to talk about it. I can take words out of my head, spin them into something worth a fair price – that never ceases to amaze me.
Share some of your writing goals.
Only some? Don’t you want to hear them all? My writing goals would be to break 350 articles at Suite101, create a self-sustaining personal website and another website I have on my mind, help get the TAM ebook program off the ground, and finish the Long Ridge Writing Course. I have six queries currently out at various magazines and would love to find those article ideas homes by the end of the year.
Is there a specific time of day you like to write?
Whenever there is a quiet second in the house. It doesn’t happen very often. With three young children, the interruptions are endless. I plan my articles in my head, or scrawled on my steno notepads, and when I get a chance to sit at the computer I type feverishly and nearly non-stop.
What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?
By far the most interesting book I’ve ever read is the Bible. The book begins “In the beginning, God created and heavens and the earth…” and from there the story is breath-taking. Plots, subplots, heroes and couragous women – the characters in the Bible are the most human of any book I’ve ever read.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I remember filling a yellow legal pad with pen scrawls (staying carefully between the lines) when I was 3 years old. About eighteen or twenty pages through the pad, which was my mother’s college notebook, I got caught by my dad who wound up buying my mother a new study book so I could continue writing in mine. I think I’ve been writing ever since.
C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, L’Engle, Laura Ingalls Wilder, White, Anne Franks, etc. So many to choose from.
Book you’re currently reading.
Don’t Panic – Dinner’s in the Freezer: Great-Tasting Meals You Can Make Ahead, Kushiel’s Justice and Creative Activities for Young Children among others. Oh yes, I’m also rereading On Writing Well – a must-have text for all writers, especially non-fiction writers.
Any type of writing ritual you have?
Praying the children don’t try to kill each other, the baby doesn’t wake up, and my husband doesn’t “need my help real quick” with whatever home-fix-it project he’s in the middle of.
Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, how did you get past it? If not, why not?
No! There is lack of focus, lack of ideas and lack of motivation – but not “writer’s block”. I do not have TIME for writer’s block. With so many other things calling for my time and attention I have to write whenever I have the chance. If the kids are happy and quiet I NEED to be writing. It doesn’t matter if I “feel” like it or not, the writing must happen so I write!
What’s the measure of a successful writer?
Oh goodness – what a question! I think that there is no one set measuring stick which can be used to judge success as a writer. For some, writing is secondary to the speaking or seminars they do. For others, they enjoy the social aspects of writing. For others it is all about seeing their name in black and white. For others, they need to make a living from their work. Success is meeting YOUR goals.
Advice for other writers?
Have faith in yourself. Trust the words. Ask for help. Listen to your heart. Take care of your physical and emotional health. Sometimes the best writing you can do is go for a walk around the block.
Where can we learn more about you?
http://angengland.com is my wrap-up website where I also have been posting writing tips and tricks.