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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Irene Stern Frielich

author Irene Stern Frielich and an image of her book Shattered Stars, Healing Hearts

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Writing my memoir in particular has enabled me to more deeply understand and process my own feelings about my experiences. Writing in general provides an opportunity for anyone to share stories with the world that might otherwise be unknown.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I find a place away from my home office for writing — a calm coffee shop, the library, outdoors. Music helps me focus, especially tunes that elicit emotion related to what I’d like to write about. Finally, each day I wrap up my writing, I prepare myself for the next day by leaving myself some notes or prompts to get me started. That’s been incredibly helpful.

What is your favorite time to write? I usually do my best writing in the mornings, before the day takes me away. But if an idea comes to me and I can, I write it in the moment it comes. Or at least I write down the core ideas because I have a hard time re-capturing that nugget if I let it go.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Keep going. Learn the art of writing. Get an editor. Ok, that’s three pieces. They were all integral to bringing my work to fruition. 1. I was “all in” committed to completing my manuscript and doing a great job. In those days when I felt I’d never finish, I reminded myself of my goal and told myself to keep going. My supporters did the same. 2. One of my first editors told me, “You really should take a class” on writing. So, I did take many classes mostly focused on memoir. That’s in addition to reading a lot of memoir and dual POV books. I needed those classes! 3. I was fortunate in being able to surround myself with fabulous editors. They were masters at their jobs (I went through developmental, copy, and proof edits). Each editor worked collaboratively with me and taught me.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? There are so many different audiences and reading preferences, it seems that if someone has an idea–whether mainstream or never done before–there’s an opportunity for authors to have their voices heard. Or read. I think it’s a very competitive field and can be hard to break into publishing, but there’s also a lot of support out there in so many groups and professional organizations.

Irene Stern Frielich’s Shattered Stars, Healing Hearts: Unraveling My Father’s Holocaust Survival Story is out now with Prince Dome Press.