Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor for the Writer’s Digest Writing Community. He edits books, manages websites, creates electronic newsletters, crafts blog posts, writes magazine articles, participates in online education, and speaks nationally on writing and publishing topics. As a poet, Robert was named Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere in 2010, has been a featured reader at several poetry events around the country, and is the author of Solving the World’s Problems(Press 53).
1. Do you have a favorite place to write?
I don’t have a specific spot, because I like to write everywhere. I used to write a lot from behind the wheel without incident, but the whole texting and driving campaign has had me re-think that strategy. Now, I usually just dictate into my phone and transcribe later. But no, I write indoors and outdoors; on a box, with a fox.
2. What do you love most about writing?
That’s a good question. I’m not sure what it is that I love most about writing, but I can’t imagine my world without it. For the creation part, maybe it’s the whole cleansing of my mind—it’s almost like all these words and images just spill out. My family knows how my brain works, because I’ll just break into non-sense songs spontaneously. It’s how I’m wired.
For the re-creation (or revision) part, I guess it might be the challenge of uncovering what the poem is about—sometimes I have no clue when the words spill out. Also, I learn a lot about myself—sounds corny, but it’s true.
3. What is the hardest and easiest part of the writing process for you?
It used to be that I considered the composition part easiest and revision part hardest. That’s when I was still learning the craft—something you never really abandon—but eventually I realized poems are never “finished.” And I also learned to think of revision as re-creation. That is, revision is not just editing; it’s a creative act in and of itself.
4. What five words best sum up your personality?
Relaxed worrier, proactive procrastinator, contradiction.
5. Other than writing, what else do you love to do?
I love spending time with my family. Often, we go on walks at parks and try to get out of the house and experience things. If we had the means, we’d probably always be on the road.
Also, I love sports. Running, basketball, football, disc golf, or whatever else.
6. Describe your perfect day.
I have those often, and they usually begin and end with cuddling my wife and talking about whatever.
7. Do you have a writing schedule?
There’s no set in stone schedule. My life is way too crazy for that at the moment (did I mention I have five kids spread across two states?). But if I don’t write every day—at least a little—then it’s pretty close to that. I know some women who say they feel naked without their purses; I feel that way about pen and paper. If I don’t have paper and pen, I feel uncomfortable.
8. What are your past, current, and/or next projects?
This time of year, I’m also promoting my new Market Books: Writer’s Market, Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition, Poet’s Market, and the inaugural edition of Guide to Self-Publishing. It’s been a busy year.
With those five books off my plate, I’ve begun submitting individual poems again. My writing style has changed a bit after re-imagining Solving the World’s Problems with the assistance of my talented editor Tom Lombardo. So I’m eager to see how these new poems fare.
I’m also looking forward to spending more time on my author website. It’s taken me years to get something up there. Hopefully, it doesn’t take as long to turn it into a special online destination.
Thanks for stopping by my blog, Robert! Best of luck with your new poetry collection.
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