Journalist, podcaster, educator, and social-media maven Ashley C. Ford has written one of the most anticipated memoirs of the season. Somebody’s Daughter (out June 1) chronicles her upbringing in Indiana within a family forever altered by her father’s incarceration. Here, she shares how she gets her many writing jobs done. –Emily Rems
You write in a variety of different arenas—print magazines, websites, anthologies, audio, TV, social media. Did writing your memoir change your routine?
I started working on the book before any of my other writing work, so it’s always had pride of place in my thoughts, even when I devoted less time to the manuscript. But there were a few months when I shut down the rest of my life so I could really focus on getting this memoir down on the page.
Do you prefer to write longhand or to type? What software do you use?
I require both. I wrote parts of my book in Scrivener, but I’m mostly a Word girl.
How many hours a day do you spend writing? Do you take days off?
I write five to ten hours a week and I regularly take days off. If I didn’t, I couldn’t be a writer.
What is your preferred writing space?
It doesn’t exist yet. I have an office I’ve been designing in my head for years. It will have very special wallpaper, a daybed, a massive desk, and a dog bed for my lab.
Do you listen to anything while writing?
I listen to movie scores. My favorites are Under the Tuscan Sun, The Wife, and Fast Color.
Are you alone when you write?
I am usually writing with my husband beside me, and my dog’s nose pressed against my heels.
What do you like to wear when you write?
Nothing that restricts. No hard pants.
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