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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Jackie Diamond Hyman

author Jackie Diamond Hyman smiling at the camera and an image of her book Going Home, At Your Age?

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? When I was four years old and my older brother started first grade, I used to meet him at the door when he came home and insist he teach me what he’d learned that day. I loved books and knew that it was my purpose in life to write them. Words and language and storytelling are, to me, essential to being present in the world.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? If I’m blocked, it’s because I took a wrong turn, made a wrong choice, lost track of what matters in my writing. I take a short break—ideas flow most readily when my mind is floating—and, if that doesn’t work, I go back to the beginning, reread what I’m writing and figure out where I lost my path.

What is your favorite time to write? My mind is fresh in the morning, after breakfast and one or two cups of coffee. Only on rare occasions have I been able to write in the afternoon.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? The Moment of Clarity is that part of every story—whether it’s found in a speech, big budget Hollywood movie, or 30-second commercial for furniture wax—when the hero realizes what the journey has been about. It is the life-changing Huzzah! of the light bulb going on. —Blake Snyder

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? It’s a gift to be able to share three things with readers: a) the creativity and originality that spring up inexplicably and, to me, miraculously in a writer, b) a chance to replace the chaotic and sometimes crushing events in the exterior world with internal order and meaning, and c) the insights into self, growth and integrity that I’ve learned in seven decades on this earth.

Jackie Diamond Hyman’s Going Home, At Your Age?, written as Jacqueline Diamond, is out now.