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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Eliana West

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world?
Writing allows us to share our experiences and perspectives. We have the power to let the reader be seen and represented through the characters we create.

Reading also gives us the opportunity to learn about those experiences and perspectives. There is nothing as powerful as seeing ourselves represented in a book.

Writing is important to me because it gives me the opportunity to tell the stories I want to read. Growing up I didn’t see books that had interracial characters and families that look like mine. Now I have the opportunity to create those characters and tell those stories.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block?
Friendship is one of the best ways to overcome writer’s block. Having good friends in the writing community who I can talk through ideas and problems with is invaluable. I often find that writer’s block is about fear. Having a good critique partner who challenges me and pushes me to overcome my fears or self-doubt helps me overcome any obstacle that might be holding me back in my writing career.

What is your favorite time to write?
It changes with the seasons, in the spring and summer I like to write in the evenings. I live in the Pacific Northwest and during the winter I often find the dark mornings are more productive.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers?
This isn’t a quote about writing but it’s one I often share.

“Perfection is impossible but space to grow is always possible.”  Stacey Abrams

I am always striving to learn and grow as a writer. We all make mistakes and that gives us an opportunity to improve. Each critique, round of edits, workshop, or class helps me become a stronger storyteller.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age?
What excites me the most right now is working with other writers through my group Writers for Diversity.

It has been a privilege and an honor to create a space where writers from all genres can exchange ideas. I love being part of a community that provides resources to help writers create more diverse stories and worlds and, most importantly, a safe space that values thoughtful and respectful dialogue and engagement.

I am excited to see more stories that reflect the diversity of the world around us.

Eliana West’s The Way Forward is out on August 25 with Tule Publishing.