Douglas Preston

Douglas PrestonDouglas Preston is the author of the novels Blasphemy and Impact, and the co-author of Cold-Vengeance.

What is your method for overcoming writer’s block?

I sit there and struggle, putting words on the screen, any words, no matter how hideous. I must not leave my computer. If I give up and leave my computer for any reason, for any task no matter how vital (such as polishing the doorknobs), I make the block worse. Every time I walked away in despair and disgust, I built that wall a little higher.

What are your favorite or most helpful writing prompts?

I read some advice from Hemingway that proved invaluable. First, never stop when you run out of things to write that day. You'll start the next day with a problem. Always stop when you have something you're raring to get down, something you can't wait to write. The next day will start like a dream.

Second, I always begin the new day by revising. That helps me work up head of steam to carry me into the harder task of writing on the black screen.

What is the most valuable advice you received as a young writer?

I was complaining to Michael Korda, my old editor at Simon & Schuster, about how horribly my last book had sold and wondering which bridge I should jump off. He said, "Doug, it's not a book. It's a career."