Janet Dailey is the author of romance novels such as Santa in Montana and Christmas in Cowboy Country.
What is your method for overcoming writer’s block?
I don’t believe in “writer’s block.” Plotting a story is purely a process of elimination. A writer must go through all the options of what can happen next and choose the one that clicks. Sometimes—if you’re really struggling, it can be a case of “Write-anything-even-if-it’s-wrong.” You can always go back and change it.
What are your favorite or most helpful writing prompts?
I don’t have any. Writing is a job. Like any other job, you rarely “feel” like going to work, but once you get there and start in, you soon forget that you didn’t “feel” like working/writing.
What is the most valuable advice you received as a young writer?
The most valuable advice came from my high school English Teacher, Mrs. Helt. She told me to write what I know. At the time I was horrified. After all I lived I Iowa. I couldn’t imagine anything worse than writing about Iowa. It was years before I realized it was a question of research. You can write about anything—a place, a time period, a career, as long as you research it in depth.