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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Michelle Falkoff

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Writing, for me, is a means of communicating with readers and other writers. It’s where we can take time to process our thoughts and feelings about the world through whatever medium we find appropriate and be part of a larger, lifelong literary conversation.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I once heard a writer (I think it was Jeremy Jackson?) say that if you have writers block, open a file for one year of your life–fourth grade, for example–and just write down everything you can remember. The physical act of writing, combined with the mental act of aggregating detail and engaging in description, is often enough to get your brain out of a rut.

What is your favorite time to write? I like to write in the morning, though for me that’s a relative term–I’m a night owl, so I’m someone who tends to get started around nine and write through the early afternoon. If I’m super motivated I’ll take a break and then keep going; otherwise, I use the late afternoon for research or other reading.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? The best piece of writing advice I’ve received is to listen to any and all advice and then discard whatever isn’t helpful. There is no one strategy that works for everyone, and the more certain someone is that they have the answer, the less likely it is that they’ve found it.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? I write for young adults, so one of the most exciting things for me is the idea that I could be writing books that provide formative reading experiences for teen readers (though of course I hope my books are fun for adults, too!). Some of the books I read when I was younger had such an outsize influence on how I read now (and how I see the world) that it’s mindblowing to hear from young readers that I might have provided similar experiences for them.

Michelle Falkoff’s How to Pack for the End of the World is out now with HarperTeen.