Jenny Han On Writing
Jenny Han visited the Philippines recently and Candy had the chance to hang out with her. Here, she tells us about her writing process and shares a couple of tips exclusive to Candy Girls!
Do you have a specific writing process?
"I do like listening to music. Especially when it's an emotional scene, it helps me get into the moment. It's an easy way to make me feel emotions, picking the right music. I also like to not be at home. I like to get out of my house—because, I think, when I'm at home, I can take a nap or I could, like, do the dishes. At least when I leave the house it feels like I’m going to work."
How do you deal with writer’s block?
"I usually listen to music. I read other people's stuff to get reinvigorated, and it feels like good energy for me to just be reading good books. I just do something else until my mind feels kinda free and in a different zone. When the pressure's off then new ideas come."
Who's your main inspiration in writing? If not who, then what?
"I'm most inspired, I think, by my sister and this book (To All The Boys I've Loved Before) is dedicated to her, this is about sisters. That's a well I go to often for inspiration because I like to explore the themes of sisterhood."
Tips for aspiring writers?
"I have probably 12 notebooks. I have little ones in my purse at all times so I could jot down ideas. I think I’m constantly being inspired just by living in New York and you see all kinds of people every day. From the subway where people come on and people come off, and you just observe people and you can get an idea from everywhere. I got an idea one time being at the dentist's office, two sisters where in there and I just watched their relationship and I just felt inspired to write a story about sisters just by looking at them. So I think it’s just about being open and being an observer and jotting it all down. And I usually write by hand first before I put them on a computer. I think I feel more freedom writing by hands because you can cross stuff out and do stuff around."
Jenny Han's books are available at National Bookstore.