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Member Spotlight: Jennifer Lou Chapman

author Jennifer Lou Chapman and an image of her book Dying for a Second Chance

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Writing has been the way I have collected my experiences, wonderings and thoughts over a lifetime…to be sorted out, laughed at, cried over and assimilated as I grew and developed emotionally and psychically. The writings of others have served the same purpose, to spearhead my own growth as I reached pivotal moments in my emotional development. Writing is the one medium that can be translated immediately, turned into audio form, and dispersed widely to anyone who can read or hear. When something is written down it can be saved, and later savored, becoming a friend or guide as one develops emotionally and learns to rely on the intuitive nuances that guide us in our development. Often, in my reading, I have come across thoughts from authors that are beyond my own emotional readiness to comprehend. Later, when I read that material again, I find I have grown and am able to intuit meanings that were beyond my understanding me before.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? Don’t sweat it. Find what works for you and be that. One writer friend keeps a card catalog. Once, a few years ago, he had 369 ideas for books, magazine articles, poems, etc. in his box. He is down to less than twenty, which will get him through the next year. I find keeping a notebook with me at all times helps. Once, while stopped at a long traffic light, I picked it up and started jotting down an idea for a poem. I looked up into the mirror and saw a State Patrolman sitting behind me. I wondered if anyone every got arrested for driving under the influence of words.

What is your favorite time to write? Midnight to 3:00 a.m. Not my choice. These just happen to be the hours I am at my creative best. When I go to bed I think about what I am working on, ask for help in the dream state, go to sleep and when the muse shakes me back from that other realm I get up, go to my laptop and write.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for. Ray Bradbury

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? The change in the world view from “us” and “them” to “WE”.

Jenn Chapman’s Dying for a Second Chance is out now with ‎ Woodhall Press.