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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Lyn Barrett

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Writing helps me make sense of complicated things. While sometimes writing is free flowing, at some point I always go back to pull threads together to make meaning. Some people make sense of the world through art, music, relationships, and so on but for me, the medium that drives me is writing.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I walk away from my writing when my juices just aren’t flowing. I’ll get involved with other activities like walking, gardening, talking with friends, cooking, resting and relaxing — ANYTHING to get me away from the computer! Usually after a break, I am ready to go back to the page and the words begin again.

What is your favorite time to write? Anytime but early morning. I’m not an early morning person! Mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and late night writing works for me. I’m usually pooped out late afternoon so save that for wine time and time with my husband. Then, it’s back to the computer again!

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? “Take me into your story,” my editor Sarah Chauncey told me. “Let me be there with you.” This bit of advice, known to all good writers, helped me move from what Sarah called “excellent expository writing” to real story telling where the reader is living your life with you.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? I’m 74 years old. I’ve had at least four careers (mom, teacher, school principal, pastor) and now, in retirement, a fifth one as author. I’m excited that our world allows us to branch out and follow the star, wherever it leads. I can’t believe I’m a published author!

Lyn Barrett’s Crazy: Reclaiming Life from the Shadow of Traumatic Memory is out now with Koehler Books.