Lauren Oliver is the author of the novels Before I Fall and Delirium.
What is your method for overcoming writer’s block?
I’ve tried to really cultivate the habit of writing every single day. That way I have learned how to talk myself out of every single excuse my brain tries to feed me to avoid writing. I often feel writer’s block is simply a version of the natural resistance we all have toward writing/creative work. Additionally, writer’s block happens when you yourself don’t know where the story is supposed to go. In order to ensure that I do know where my story is going, I spend a good amount of time outlining before I begin writing.
What are your favorite or most helpful writing prompts?
Oh, man! That’s a hard one. I’ve never taken a traditional writing class, so I’ve never actually received a writing prompt. But I like challenging myself to read the paper or a magazine, take one story, and try and figure out how it could be turned into a story or novel.
What is the most valuable advice you received as a young writer?
I love the quote from my old writing professor, Chuck Wachtel: “Aim for truth, and beauty will follow. Aim for beauty, but truth will not necessarily follow.” Always aim for truth!