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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Annabelle M. Tometich

author Annabelle Tometich and an image of her book The Mango Tree

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? I started writing as a journalist. In those days, writing was my job. Over time, though, writing became my passion and my lifeline. Being able to spell out my thoughts and feelings changed everything for me. It helped me reevaluate my relationships, my childhood, my identity. There is something about the written word, about YOUR OWN written words, that is so incredibly powerful. Writing puts you in control. It’s the one thing we can control. And in a time where control feels precious and fleeting and impossible, writing is essential.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? Deadlines. This stems from my journalism days, but nothing gets me writing like a firm deadline. Even if it’s imposed by a friend or a Twitter trend or a writing group, I will always write something, maybe something crap, maybe something decent, maybe something off the wall, if there is a deadline. My other remedy, especially for short-term writer’s block: movement. Get up and walk around the house/block/living room. Do 10 pushups, 10 sit ups, 10 air squats. Movement always jogs things loose for me and gets the writing back on track.

What is your favorite time to write? Late at night or whenever the house is quiet. I take care of my mom, and I have two kids, so quiet usually comes late at night.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Read your work out loud. I catch so many errors this way, ones that I miss through normal proofreading. It doesn’t have to be an award-winning dramatic reading, just say the words audibly and you will be amazed at what you catch.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? The possibilities. Writing is the building block of just about everything. Video games, movies, shows, plays, books, music, advertisements, journalism, business, these all require writing. They all require writers. A good writer can do just about anything, go just about anywhere. They can apply their skills in so many interesting ways. I love that for us.

Annabelle M. Tometich’s The Mango Tree: A Memoir of Fruit, Florida, and Felony is out tomorrow with Little Brown and Company.