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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Anita Crawford Clark

author Anita Crawford Clark and an image of her book The Story of Sojourner Truth

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Writing is important to me because it opens up my imagination and curiosity. Writing allows me to explore ideas and create unique experiences for potential readers. It exposes me and my readers to other cultures, places, people, and ways of life. I could not imagine what the world would have missed if Anne Frank had not kept a diary, and if her father had not seen to it, the world might not have experienced this tragic time in our history through the eyes of young Anne. Numerous stories have been told because someone decided to write them down. The medium of writing has a long and storied history. A history that has allowed us to know history. To travel back in time and read about the lived experiences of people long since gone. And so we write today. We write for today’s children. We write for those who will seek to understand what life was like in the 21st century. We write to make the world a better, more compassionate place for us all.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? Writer’s block can strike anytime and hang on like a stubborn mule. Much like a mule, you cannot force the issue. I find that getting out in nature sparks ideas. The ideas do not necessarily have to be related to whatever I’m writing about or having a block about. I also find that going on a retreat or attending a writing conference does the trick. I play the drums, piano, and banjo- so just sitting down and playing music chases any blocks away. Finally, just getting out of the house and having some fun. Going to a ball game, movie, or on a picnic seems to dislodge any blocks.

What is your favorite time to write? Oh, I love this question. I have two favorite times to write. One is early in the morning before the household begins to stir. That quiet time where I can sip tea and write is precious. My other favorite time to write is when inspiration hits me like lightning. The tough part about this time is that I cannot always stop what I am doing and get to pen and paper or my laptop. But if I can get to a writing source, boy oh boy, do the words flow like magic!

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? This is a tough question as I have received so much incredible advice over the years. I will sum it up by saying, keep writing, keep dreaming, keep believing because there is a child out there who needs to read your story so they know they matter.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? Writing in today’s age comes with numerous challenges and opportunities. One of the things that excites me is the incredible online community of children’s book writers and illustrators. This community is supportive in so many ways. We support and celebrate each other’s book news and events. We lift one another when the news is not favorable. We share resources and opportunities to publish work and to learn and grow as writers. This community never ceases to amaze me and I am thankful to be a part of these fabulous Creatives.

Anita Crawford Clark’s The Story of Sojourner Truth: A Biography Book for New Readers is out now with Callisto Kids.