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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Janet Cheatham Bell

author Janet Cheatham Bell and an image of her book Still Rising

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Hundreds of years ago, Shakespeare wrote that “neither marble nor monuments” would outlive his words, and I agree. Writing is apparently the best way to leave a legacy for future generations. My writing has not brought fortune or fame; however, I am gratified that my grandchildren and their children will be able to learn about my life as I see it.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I usually turn to some other outlet–taking dance classes, enrolling in a solo performance workshop. Trying something I’ve never done before seems to jumpstart my creative juices.

What is your favorite time to write? I’ve been self-employed for the last 38 years, so just write whenever I feel the flow. Putting my latest book together got me through the pandemic lockdown.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? I was invited to join a writing group, and accepted. That was the best thing I’ve done to propel my writing.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? I’ll be 86 in a few months and feel left behind by the rapid digital and social media innovations. I’m just grateful that publishers are still accepting and publishing BOOKS!

Janet Cheatham Bell’s Still Rising: Famous Black Quotations for the Twenty-First Century is out January 24 with Agate Publishing.