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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Chloe Spencer

author Chloe Spencer and an image of her book Mewing

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Writing is a form of catharsis for me! My upcoming body horror novella, Mewing, helped me work through a lot of body image issues, fatphobia, and what it’s like to navigate the digitized age of beauty. I think writing is a safe way we can find comfort in the uncomfortable, and with that comes a sense of relief or validation. When I’ve gone through difficult experiences, writing is one of my best tools for healing.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? If I’m experiencing writer’s block, it likely means that I’m bored. For me, boredom comes from a lack of trying new things. Reading a new book, watching a new film, or listening to a new song is generally enough to give me some ideas. But I think that trying new activities can also be stimulating–so if you ever wanted to take a ceramics class, or learn how to draw a car, or maybe even bake cookies–I think all those things can not only help enrich our lives, but get the wheels turning in our brains.

What is your favorite time to write? My favorite time to write is whenever my two cats are sleeping, hahaha. About the only time that I get anything done. Generally, I try to write whenever I can. Sometimes that even means I’m writing when working out on an elliptical (thank you, Google Docs.)

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? The best piece of advice that I’ve ever received was when I attended a comic convention in my early 20s. There was a panel led by Brian Michael Bendis. At one point he was asked by someone in the audience what to do about your work if you’re nervous about it being good enough. He stated: “Finish what you start. Look at it. Do better next time.” I’m someone that used to get hung up on whether or not something was good enough, and wouldn’t finish a lot of WIPs I started. I think that a lot of new writers worry about whether something is good enough, and that can contribute to writer’s block… but this was the moment where it clicked for me that if I don’t even TRY to finish something, I won’t have anything, and then I have no hope of getting better. As a writer, I think the only way you get BETTER is by finishing that full first draft. Sure, you can rewrite scenes over and over again, but that’s only going to prove you know how to write that SCENE, not a fully connected story. The first draft is the biggest accomplishment you can achieve early in your writing career–and even if it’s terrible, you’ve done it, and you can always do better next time.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? What I love about being a writer today is that there are more people looking for diverse storytelling than ever before. There’s something out there for everyone, and it’s easier than ever to find it.

Chloe Spencer’s Mewing is out February 27 with Shortwave Media.