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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Marie Boyd

author Marie Boyd and an image of her book Just a Worm

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? For as long as I can remember I’ve loved being read to and reading, and my interest in and appreciation of writing flowed from that. Reading and writing have exposed me to people, places, and things (both real and fictional) that I would have never otherwise encountered. Reading and writing are important because they can help us broaden our understanding of the world and convey knowledge and ideas. I also think reading and writing are important to human flourishing. I hope that my debut book for children, JUST A WORM, will encourage young readers to consider the power of words, think about the special role that they play in their family or community, and recognize that everyone has something to contribute.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? Writing regularly helps me prevent writer’s block, but when writer’s block leaves me feeling stuck, a walk around the block often helps me clear my mind and move forward with my writing. Working on my art and illustrations also often helps me move past writer’s block. Each day, before I wrap up my writing, I write “START HERE” in my document along with a quick note to myself regarding what I will work on next. When I come back to my writing, no matter how long it has been, I know where to start and I have something to work on to help move my project forward.

What is your favorite time to write? My favorite time to write is in the morning, with a cup of coffee, after I have dropped my kids off at school, but I’m not always able to write then. Writing is a big part of my job as a law professor, and I try to do that writing at set times during the work week. I try to schedule my academic writing in the morning when I feel that I’m the most productive. On days that I teach in the mornings, I do my academic writing in the late afternoons. Since writing for children is not part of my primary career, I do that when I have time, often that is early in the morning, late at night, on school breaks and holidays, during the summer, and while I’m waiting for my kids at appointments and activities.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Whenever I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by a writing project, I try to remind myself that the only thing I need to do to be a writer is write.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? When I was kid, very few of the characters in the picture books I read looked like me. While there is still much work to be done, I’m excited by the diverse voices and stories in children’s literature.

Marie Boyd’s Just a Worm is out now with Greenwillow Books.