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Member Spotlight: Chad Ellis Boykin

author Chad Boykin and his book The Twilight Zone Haiku

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Writing is important for me because it’s like Zen, you get lost in it. Writing takes the chaos and turns it into order. Writing changes perspectives, communicates and coordinates, it introduces people who will never meet, but nonetheless are able to know each other. Writing is an important medium for the world because it increases empathy and removes false barriers between people. It puts us into the shoes of the “other”, sometimes subtly and makes us understand what it is to be everyone else. A ticket out of the prison of self.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? Haiku. The big blank page is overwhelming, too many possibilities. The still small haiku, and its sharp singular natural focus provides freedom in its narrow constraint. It reminds me that it’s all small steps, just this one thing, right now.

What is your favorite time to write? Late nights and early mornings.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? A good friend, who has long since passed, told me once, before I had ever taken a college class, “you can write, you *expletive*. I believed him. In believing him, I believed in myself. Believed I had some kind of innate ability. Listen to that voice, the one that says you can do anything. Even the things you don’t think you can do.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? The expanded possibilities to connect with audiences without the gatekeeping from years past. The wealth of diverse and unique voices that inspire and inform.

Chad Ellis Boykin’s The Twilight Zone Haiku is out now with Jobber House Press.