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“I write or else!” C.J. Darlington

This is the final day of our C.J. Darlington interview, although I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more about her and her books. Today she’s answering the all-about-me questions. As much as I hate to see our time together end, C.J. probably needs to get back to the hard work of writing.

C.J., I’ve enjoyed getting to know you better – it was a super fun interview. Thanks so much for sharing with our readers. Feel free to drop by anytime with a guest post, an update on your writing, or the answer to that last question. We’re all ears.

If you absolutely could not write or do anything related to books, what career would you choose?

If we’re really dreaming here . . . I would love to do something outdoors that required physical work. Like being a barn manager, landscaper, or a horse trainer. Something involving horses would be quite nice, actually.

You said you get irritable when you don’t write. What about writing calms you?

Because when I’m writing I am fulfilling my calling. It took me many years to realize God had called me to write. I never had an earth shattering, lightning strike moment, but He’d instilled in me a desire to write ever since I was a kid. When I don’t write, I’m turning my back on that. It’s taken me a long time to realize this, but I think it’s true for any of us when we don’t do what we know God’s called us to do.

What’s the most fun part of writing? What’s your least favorite part? In an interview last May [], you said plotting was hard but you were enjoying revising since that’s when “a novel can truly start to sing.” I like that. Do these continue to be your ups and downs of writing?  

They do. Writing the rough draft has been the hardest because I tend to want to edit as I go, which can stifle creativity, at least for me. I’m better off writing hot, as my friend James Scott Bell says, and editing cold. The editing process isn’t always easy either, but that’s when things start to take shape. I can see the direction I want to go better.

What do you like most about yourself? And least?

I wish I were more disciplined. I would be ten times more productive if I was. I don’t really think about what I like about myself very much, but I guess I like that I have a sensitive heart. It helps me to empathize with people and animals. I never want to lose that.

Do you have any habits you’d like to overcome like staying up too late to write or eating junk food? I picked up on you liking Starbucks and Chili Lime Tortilla Chips but they sound too good to give up.

I’d like to cultivate my good habits more! Like exercising. I do it on a regular basis, but I need to exercise more. It’s healthy not only for our bodies, but our minds too. (Plus it can burn off those calories from the Chili and Lime chips!)

You’re an identical twin. Has either of your parents ever confused you for Tracy? Or can parents always tell the difference? I’ve always wondered about this.

The hardest times my parents have had is when we answer the phone. Our voices are very similar, and we say things with the same inflections, so they’ve thought they were talking to one of us and then realized a few sentences later they weren’t. When we meet someone together it will often take that person multiple times before they get our names right.

Are there any questions you’ve never been asked but want to answer? Share with us, please.

I’ve never been asked what type of deodorant I use. And if you must know, it’s Tom’s unscented, natural, aluminum free. Natural deodorant is great, but it doesn’t stop you from sweating. I guess that’s probably TMI.

Since you’re answering questions for the “Well-Written Days” blog, describe a well-written day in your life.

I’d wake up slowly with my dogs under the covers with me. Breakfast would be my favorite – cereal. I’d then drink a cup of Irish Breakfast tea while I was having devotions. After this it would be a visit to the stable to spend time with and ride my favorite horse. Back at home I’d have lunch and probably another cup of tea or a homemade latte or cappuccino. After checking my e-mails I’d close myself in a room and write for several hours without allowing myself to break away. Dinner would be something delicious like macaroni and cheese (homemade, not boxed) or pasta. And always a salad. Then I’d get my treadmill time in watching a movie or horse training DVD. After that I’d spend another couple hours writing, leaving enough time before sleep to lie in bed with the covers to my chin reading a novel. Lights off, and then blissful dreaming of all that I’d accomplished.

And finally, what does C.J. stand for? Inquiring minds want to know.

A girl’s gotta have some secrets, Kim! : )

Also check out Part 1 (the silly part) and Part 2 (about her book and writing) of C.J.’s interview.


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