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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Harold Davis

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Words and writing are fundamental to what it means to be human. The first step in understanding is communication. I get a visceral thrill when I put words together in a way that facilitates understanding, and an even deeper satisfaction when the language I’ve used is actually elegant as well as informative.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? What is writer’s block? I don’t want to put a jinx on myself, but this is not something I experience. Also, there’s nothing like a deadline to be clarifying.

What is your favorite time to write? I’ve learned that ideas, and even sentences and paragraphs, can occur at any time. Sometimes even while I am dreaming. So I make a point of writing things down when they come to me—because all to often when I don’t the best part of the idea gets lost. This extends even to the dream ideas that I mentioned: I will wake, take pen to paper, get it all down, and hopefully go back to sleep.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? I think there are many good books on writing, so much of this information it out there. John Gardner’s and Stephen King’s books on writing come to mind, along with Steven Pressfield’s War of Art. I’d add to these the importance of keeping at it, being regular in one’s writing practice, and believing in what one does.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? Well, it is the best of time and the worst of times to be a writer. The absence of the traditional gatekeepers means it is easy to get one’s work out there, but also harder to stand out from the crowd. I love the excitement and ferment of the new mediums, e.g., blogging, etc., and how easy it is to connect directly with an audience.

Harold Davis’s Creative Garden Photography is out now with Rocky Nook.