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.
By Ashley C. Ford
(Flatiron Books: An Oprah Book)
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2021 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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