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Member Spotlight: Dennis Meredith

author Dennis Meredith and his book The Climate Pandemic

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? My favorite quote about writing is from Gloria Steinem: “”Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” I’ve been writing since I was in grade school, and to me a day without writing is a wasted day. I have so many stories that I *have* to get out! Writing is important because it is the richest and most intimate medium, in which the writer can communicate not only ideas but emotions in far more depth and nuance than other media.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I’ve never really had writer’s block, actually, because I’ve always known that if I kept writing, the roughest draft will smoothen and become more polished. And I make sure that I don’t write something until it’s “ready.” That is, it’s formed enough in my head that I can at least get a start on a draft. One key way that I keep the ideas flowing is to take long walks. There are actually studies showing that walking inspires creativity.

What is your favorite time to write? In the morning, when I have a full load of neurotransmitter in the creative part of my brain. After a few hours of such intense immersion, I’ve run out of neurotransmitter, and I know it’s time to go do something else, perhaps gardening or wandering about aimlessly annoying my wife. Robert Pirsig, author of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” was my most influential guide in this regard. He said when you run out of “gumption” that’s when to do something else.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Writing is rewriting! It totally does not matter what you first write because you can rewrite and rewrite and rewrite until you refine it to perfection–or at least as near to perfection as it’s possible with the primitive medium of the printed word. And you can let it “rest” and come back to it with fresh eyes and enthusiasm.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? The absolutely stunning power and freedom that writers now have to see their works reach the public by publishing themselves, if the traditional publishing route doesn’t work. My most recent book is published under our own imprint, and I deeply enjoyed the process of bringing it from manuscript to print and e-book. And, I’m able to offer it at a far more reasonable price than can traditional publishers. My previous book was published by an academic press, and I was shocked to see that the e-book was priced at $34.00. I mean, for God’s sake it’s just electrons!

Dennis Meredith’s The Climate Pandemic: How Climate Disruption Threatens Human Survival is out now with Glyphus.