Interview with SJ Mains

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is not a joy for me, it is a necessity. It is the only thing that I can do that I feel as though I have complete control over. They are my ideas and it is ultimately my tome that will relay these ideas to the audience. Writing is the hardest and most frustrating of things but it forces me to push myself and not be lazy. I am never happy with anything that I write and I will always think it can be better.

I suppose the clearer the image is in my head, the more accurately I will be able to describe it. The broad range of aspects at play within any piece of creative writing means that attention to detail is paramount. I constantly feel as though there is something I am missing out but then worry that I am over-explaining. The trick is to find that balance. I am always in fear that I will tip too far one way and lose my balance.

It is great when the words come easily but I am suspicious that this is a reflection of my own laziness and I always think "If it is coming too easily then I will have a hell of an editing job ahead of me."

Basically I am never happy but when I do achieve an end product, the turmoil that I have put myself through disappears and I feel a sense of satisfaction. That is, until I start my next writing project. Then it is once more to the mincer with my thoughts.
What are you working on next?
I am working on short stories at the moment. Two in particular. One is a story of love and the imprisoning pain that comes along with it. The other is a story of humanity eating itself. The challenge behind each story (because both deal with fairly pessimistic themes) is to find the positive element to each situation. I believe in balance and harmony but I enjoy reading stories about pain. A story that deals largely with pain should have a positive element that appears like a shining diamond in a pit of tar. Similarly a story that deals largely with an overwhelmingly positive theme should have some black spot inside, if for nothing else, to highlight the positive nature of the story. In both cases I like to focus on the positive element. The black tar pit will make the smallest spark shine brighter whereas the small black spot will make the light that surrounds it shine brighter.

I want my stories to have a fundamental balance. These two stories are a mixture of dreamlike sequences and fantasy but with a firm grip on reality and human truth. I am making them readable to realists and fantasists alike.
What is your writing process?
I never stop thinking. This causes problems for myself and those around me. If I am not writing, I am thinking about what to write next.
What do you read for pleasure?
I find reading an arduous task. I do not read that often and when I do I do so very slowly. Reading seldom brings me pleasure.
I have been told in the past that there are two types in this world "Those who read books, and those who write books." I consider myself a writer.

In saying that, I enjoyed "The Grapes of Wrath".
Published 2014-12-08.
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