I use Scrivener to organize my research, create outlines, character sketches, scenes, and compile manuscripts.
My favorite music while writing (or studying) is LoFi hip hop. I listen to Chilled Cow on YouTube 90% of the time.
Some of my favorite writers - and my favorites of their works for various reasons are:
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar), Maya Angelou ("Still I Rise"), John Fante (Ask the Dust), Ernest Hemingway ("Hills Like White Elephants") , Flannery O'Connor ("A Good Man is Hard to Find"), Joyce Carol Oates ("Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"), and Ray Bradbury's "There Will Come Soft Rains". None of these are light reading in any way. I like heavy. I love raw. I worship real.
My favorite current author is T. (Tammy) Greenwood (Nearer Than The Sky and Rust and Stardust). I just finished Rust and Stardust which is a moving and well-researched take on the infamous Lolita. Rust and Stardust fictionalizes the story of real-life kidnapping victim, Sally Horner, from the 11 -year-old's perspective. I'm taking two online courses with Greenwood in September 2018 and can't wait to learn directly from her. I've read about half of her books and her writing is punchy yet ethereal, authentic, surprising. It's everything I'd want my writing to be and more. I can't think of anyone better from whom to soak it all up.
Yes and no. I go through spurts where I do write every day and produce writing, research, plot twists, and new connections. Other times, I've been focused on other things and didn't write at all. I even let this site go for awhile. But I finally decided to write despite my fear of being a banal writer.
I also use A Writer's Book of Days by Judy Reeves for daily writing prompts, tips, and inspiration. The Writer's Center and San Diego Writer's Ink have been my favorite resources since I discovered them in 2014.
My writing always seems too trite or juvenile when I begin a story. As it develops and deepens, the writing improves. Editing is key. No one (well, almost no one) writes magically on the first try. Occasionally I'll write a sentence or paragraph I think is great. Weeks later I'll read it and realize how cheesy it is. Once again, back to editing.
I think writer's block is simply a lack of focus and inspiration. When I'm stuck, I think of the most unusual and interesting stories I've heard about, searching for one that might fit well into the story I'm working on. Other times, I have a general idea of what I want and just need to do some research to find the right next step in the story. Sites like pinterest and google images are great for inspiration. You can check out my Pinterest for things I've pinned. Some of them will be used in the three stories featured on this site. I have heard so many interesting stories to draw from that I have more ideas than I have time to write.
I'm not sure since I haven't completed my first novel. But I am seriously working on the three stories on this website each and every day. My goal is to complete at least one of them in time for a 2019 release.