Get to Know Clifford Jackman

Clifford Jackman is the author of The Braver Thing and will be participating in our Vocamus Writers' Community Showcase on September 10. Register for the event here.

What’s next on your reading list?
Henderson the Rain King, by Saul Bellow.

What do you struggle most with as a writer?
This year, the biggest struggle has been to carve out a consistent time to work.

What do you have the most fun with as a writer?
I think the best part of the "writing" process is to walk around forming the ideas in your head, when everything is perfect because it doesn't exist. I do enjoy the other parts as well.

Do you write with music in the background, or in silence?
Music if possible. It occupies part of the brain.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?
The most common mistake is to be an aspiring writer in the first place. The second most common mistake is giving up.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
You made it, you crazy bastard!

How many hours a day do you write?
That is a depressing question in 2020. I aspire to get in 2-3 hours a day.

Do you believe in writer’s block? What do you do if you get stuck?
At this stage of my career writer's block is not really an issue for me. If you get stuck I guess you need to either power through and fix things up when the draft is done, or move on to a different project. There is no shame in cutting bait if something is not working. Beware of the sunk cost fallacy.

What sparked the idea for The Braver Thing?
I was fascinated by the democractic way pirates governed themselves. I wanted to tell an exciting pirate story that also had something to say about what makes a "healthy" political community.