Write Now with Paula Finn

A life-long writer shares tips about putting words to page.

Write Now with Paula Finn
Photo courtesy of Paula Finn

Who Are You?

Paula Finn, Author, based in Studio City, CA.

What Do You Write?

I write nonfiction books and consumer-advice magazine articles. I started writing in high school, when a local newspaper published my celebrity interviews. After college, I freelanced for magazines. With today’s emphasis on political correctness, I try to avoid writing anything too controversial. I love what I do. I love the gratification that comes from honing just the right phrase, finding exactly the right word…knowing I’ve made it the best it can be.

Where Do You Write?

I write at home, in my den. When I first started years ago, I wrote my first drafts with a mechanical pencil on lined notebook paper. Now I do everything in Word on a laptop.

When Do You Write?

I’m a night owl, so I tend to work later in the day. My writing sessions are typically unstructured. I write whenever I have a few free hours at a time. If I can’t sleep at night, I get up and write til dawn or later. I set absolutely no time limits! Same for word count goals or self-imposed deadlines. The only deadlines I meet are those set by publishers and/or site owners.

Why Do You Write?

Writing is my most satisfying creative outlet. I don’t often deal with a lack of motivation; my problem is finding the discipline to take a break! I usually can’t wait to get back to my work. What inspires me? The joy I anticipate feeling when I’ve completed a job well done.

How Do You Overcome Writer’s Block?

Going for long walks always clears my head. Re-reading something I’ve written often helps prime the pump. And… just writing.

I agree with Seinfeld producer Larry Charles, who says: “…You just have to stay with it. You have to keep putting stuff down on paper, you have to keep doing exactly what you’ve been doing. Just like if a batter has a slump, he pretty much has to work through the slump. And sometimes you come out the other side much better for it.”

Bonus: What Do You Enjoy Doing When Not Writing?

Hanging out with friends, going for long walks, and art: studying art instruction books, painting with watercolor pencils, and creating digital art.

A version of this article also appeared on Medium.