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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Marisol Cortez

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Writing’s important because not only is it one of the only ways we can create something that outlasts our physical existence, it’s also one of our primary forms of agency–both personal and political. It’s our voice, our words given permanence.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I write best/most under duress, in the margins or cracks of official or on-the-clock time–so I often find I’m most prolific when I’m supposed to be doing other work or meeting some other deadline!

What is your favorite time to write? As a mama of two juggling oversight of virtual middle school, toddler, paid work, and my own creative longings in the midst of a childcare-free pandemic, my favorite time to write is any time I can manage. In my headiest mama-of-two fantasies, though, I get up to an empty house, make a cup of jasmine tea, and immediately hit the laptop for about four hours first thing.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? The writing advice I’d most like to impart to other writers is advice I was forced to gather by inference after a couple of decades from what I was never told. At a key moment in my development as a writer, I should have been told to give zero effs about rejection, that it’s normal and just to keep going. I also should have been told that I really should try to do something with my writing–that making one’s work public in some form is an important part of finishing it, and an almost ethical responsibility one has to self/world.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? In today’s age? Cracking the code of how to craft gorgeous pithy pearls of viral wit on Twitter. Reading and writing hilarious satire about the Trump years. Creating space for community writing projects that can serve the ends of social movement building, especially around land/water protection.

Marisol Cortez’s Luz at Midnight is out now with FlowerSong Press.