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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Aimee Liu

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world?
Our only way to directly enter the thoughts and experience of another human being is through the written word. Writing and reading are our most effective vehicles for empathy, and as we’re seeing all too clearly at this moment in history, humanity suffers grievously when empathy fades or lapses. Writing connects us in ways that no other form of art or communication can. It’s a source of information, inspiration, and comfort, no matter how far apart we may be physically. This is why, as we live through COVID-19, writing is more vital than ever for our collective survival.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block?
The #1 cure for my writer’s block is a work of literature that inspires me. This work usually has some thematic and stylistic connection to my own, and the simple line-by-line example of it reminds me that even the greatest writing always boils down to one word after another. This simple truth reassures and quiets my anxiety and motivates me to try to write equally well, albeit in my own way.

What is your favorite time to write?
In my fantasies, I’d rise at dawn, take a brisk walk, come back to coffee and be at my desk by 9 for a hard day’s writing.

In reality, email and other work intrude by dawn, and I rarely get down to my own writing until mid-afternoon.

Sometimes I don’t find my groove until after dinner, when email traffic blessedly goes silent.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers?
We write long because we don’t take the time to write short.

Also: When you finish the “last draft” put it in a drawer and do something entirely different for several weeks–or months, preferably without showing that draft to anyone until you come back to it and revise it all over again.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age?
When it’s not a curse, the internet is a writer’s treasure chest. No longer do the thorny details stop us for days at a stretch. Information that used to require days in the stacks can now be found in minutes. We have access to libraries and rare book sellers the world over.

And maybe, maybe readers all over the world will also have access to our books.

Aimee Liu’s Glorious Boy is out now with Red Hen Press.