Alan Forrest Smith has been writing since the late 70’s and has gotten to a stage in his life where he writes about one and a half million words a year. His last book, published in 2012, was called ‘Escape from Zoomanity’ and is an epic read about a man’s awakening from the day to day trappings of being a human being in a world far removed from nature. As part of the tickthebucket.org project, we reached out to him to tell us what the life of a writer looks like, this is what he said:
- Why did you decide to become a writer?
It is something I have always done. I never thought of being a writer, I simply wrote things until someone suggested I write books. Words are a way to reveal and open the heart of a man. They are also a way to move and create new thoughts or awaken thoughts. For me, writing is way to move a person. If there is no movement in the words there is no flow. Writing is just in me – I can’t explain anymore.
2. How long does it take you to write a book and what’s your process?
I have no process or time. I have an idea based on a moment that takes place. The bigger picture seems to develop. Once I start thinking about it, I start writing on my iPhone right away. Once I feel there is enough, I transfer into word on my Mac and start writing until I have finished. For me a book has a start, a middle, and an end. It should flow and have good pace, yet all books and ideas are different. My writing evolves and changes so my next project is a book and idea I started maybe 3-4 years ago. But it has changed and still changes.
3. How do you stoke the coals of inspiration, anything unorthodox or out the box?
I get inspired by real things. Life and life situations. Just a single moment in a street watching passer-bys can fuel me. I suppose my real way of firing up is to do as little as possible, say nothing and simply observe life outside whilst drinking a ton of coffee. For example, I have just returned from Venice, Florence and Tuscany. I wanted to know more about the Medici family and see what it is they created. Classic Art inspires me, life stories inspire me.
4. What was having your first book published like?
Really cool – I loved it! Gave me a high and a buzz initially but I let go of things quickly and wanted to write my next book. I was probably more thrilled to know someone actually thought it was good enough to publish.
5. Can you give me three short pieces of advice for anybody that’s looking to get into writing?
Think less and write more
There is no formula
Be as human as possible
6. Finally, what’s next on your Bucket List?
To give my wife a child.
To write a book that moves readers to their very core.
Alan, thanks for doing this, we really appreciate it and if you want to find out more about Allen, please go to his website www.alenforrestsmith.com or follow him on Twitter: @alforrestsmith and this interview has got you in the mood to tick ‘write a book’ off your Bucket List head over to www.tickthebucket.org and join the rest of our community making it happen.