Write Now with Eric Michael Bovim

Who are you?

Eric Michael Bovim, a communications consultant based in Washington, D.C.

What do you write?

I started writing poetry in high school. Fiction came later in college, during my senior year. I dabbled in fiction after college while living as an expatriate in Spain, but I didn’t endeavor to write any serious fiction until I began my novel, AROUND THE SUN.

I try and write fiction where the language is the centerpiece of the story, as much as the story. I believe words are the building blocks and we should marvel at them, too, just as we do with characters and narrative. I try to avoid “bland” writing. I want the prose to elevate the story and inspire the reader. If I am writing and I find the ideas and/or the prose dull, I scrap it and start over again.

Where do you write?

I write anywhere there is solitude and privacy. I don’t need much — paper or a laptop is fine. I don’t believe the act of writing should be full of frills, or a kind of theater; it’s a solitary exercise and it demands concentration. So, honestly, the best elements are concentration, quiet, and absolutely no chance for interruptions.

When do you write?

Never late at night when I might get ramped up from the experience. Always in the morning or late morning when I am fresh and have clean energy. I try and write for at least one hour and follow Hemingway’s rule: stop where you know what comes next so you have somewhere to go the next day.

Why do you write?

Why do some people sing, others act? Who knows. I write because it feels like home. I can be fully myself and have dominion over the words I use and the places I can take the reader. Sometimes, and very rarely, you write so fluidly it feels like riding a wave and it’s an almost perfect feeling that keeps you searching for it again and again. You are connecting with something much deeper than your own imagination. It’s like being plugged into the great beyond.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

I don’t fight it; I drop what I am working on and write something else, a different scene or character, I sketch out something to keep the juices flowing. That said, I think writer’s block is also a kind of myth, something that happens when the words just aren’t pouring out as easily, which is really the state I am in most of the time. Writing is phrases and groups of words strung together with effort and struggle. I don’t believe it’s possible to pump out 1,000 amazing words in a session, so, in that sense, I think writers are always blocked, to some extent, and the act of persevering is how to push against this state and accumulate enough word count to give you momentum.

Bonus: What do you enjoy doing when not writing?

I’m always doing something creative. Cooking is my other passion. When I am not cooking I am watching hockey.

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