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Member Spotlight: Laura Mullen

author Laura Mullen and an image of her book EtC

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Writing is important to me / for the world because it is so immensely charged with the energy of the historical and social: because it carries time and carries us–toward and away from each other–in time. Always “in time”–because there is no too late for the written word, which reaches those who were not born or even dreamed of when it was written.” If you receive it, when you receive it, it is yours–as if it was written for you. And because when (when) it reaches you it reaches both mind and heart equally, and can work magic…

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I no longer have–or believe–in “writer’s block.” I know when I am avoiding my work, and I know when I am avoiding myself: those are overlapping. What we call writer’s block should be called something that makes it clear this is not a discipline specific issue. Call it “Dancer’s Block”? Maybe your silence means you have been injured and need a rest. Call it “Filmmaker’s block”? Maybe your eyes are jaded / tired. But when you feel like you can’t speak ask yourself what you are afraid of, and also examine your expectations. “And always leave” (this is the genius advice Min Kang’s mother gave her) “the notebook open on the table.”

What is your favorite time to write? Whenever I can.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? The piece of writing advice I always keep close is not in fact writing advice, though it came to me from a writer (Carole Maso), who quoted the choreographer Mark Morris: “I make the dances I want to see.” Write the work you want to read. And I hold this, which came from Robert Hass, near: “You can’t revise nothing.” And always this—not just writing advice but a living reality (from Theresa Hak Kyung Cha): “Our destination is fixed on the perpetual motion of search. Fixed in its perpetual exile.” Dictee (p 81)

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? The capacity to reach so many so quickly and so effectively–where “excites” should be heard in its full resonance, like “thrills.” Spooky stuff, the speed of the written word now. And then the ways the media impact our messy messages. And the multi-media possibilities–so fabulous–so much potential still to be explored.

Laura Mullen’s EtC is out now with Solid Objects.