Filipinas Magazine Interviews Yvette Tan
"A lot of people think writing is easy, but it's not, at least if you want to write well. Writing is mentally draining, which is worse than physically draining because mentally draining [work] means you're tired, but haven't lost any calories. That said, the most difficult thing about what I do is scheduling. I have to fit all my projects in, plus (have a) life. I have a hard time going off work mode. If you ask me to take a work-free vacation, I'd be miserable.
"(But) I love it when everything just flows and all I have to do is type whatever comes to mind. I hate it when the words don't come. Stick to the rules: less is more; show, don't tell; write what you'd like to read and break the rules only if you're good enough. Of course, lots of people have ignored these and have wound up on the bestseller list. I don't like using big words, unless I'm doing it for fun."
Ironically, Yvette's dream job would not be very different from her current routine. "What I'm doing right now, but on a bigger scale. I would love to make more money off my fiction. But even if I had the chance to make all my money from fiction, I think I'd still be writing for magazines, newspapers and corporations, because it's so much fun."
Rejection from publishers is an integral part of a writer's career. How does she feel one should deal with it? "Very critically. You have to allow yourself to feel bad. Afterwards, you have to decide whether the criticism was warranted or not, and if you're going to use it to make yourself better or not. A lot of people will point out your weak spots because they want you to be better, but there are also a lot of people out there who will put you down because they want to see you fail. You just have to figure out which is which. Use the good advice and discard the rest."Growing up in a haunted house and developing an early fascination for the supernatural may have set her on the path to writing horror fiction, but it wasn't something Yvette consciously chose to pursue.
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