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Member Spotlight: MN Wiggins

author MN Wiggins and his book Clinical Optics Made Easy

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? I write because it brings me pleasure, and I hope at least a small measure of enjoyment to my readers. The written word requires a working imagination on the reader’s part. Video is spoon-feeding—the equivalent of telling you your opinion. Reading forces you to see in your mind and interpret. It’s why the book is always better than the movie.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I’ve never had it. But then, I’ve never forced writing. When ideas strike, I write. And I write for me, as if no one will ever see it or call me on it. Making it polished for world—I leave that to the rewrite.

What is your favorite time to write? My brain works better in the morning.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Every sentence has to matter. If it doesn’t advance the plot, give insight into the character, or provide sheer entertainment, then cut it.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? Hemingway wrote about an argument he had with F. Scott Fitzgerald over writing what you want, what comes from you versus what will sell. Agents are the gatekeepers of the traditional publishing pathway. There’s logic to that. It screens for the publishing houses. But economics dictates agents look for what sells, what looks and smells like some other best seller, what the market favors currently. Be creative, be unique, find your voice—as long as you’re creative in a way that’s hot right now, and your uniqueness is similar to authors who sell, and your voice sounds like what has traditionally sold. What excites me are the myriad of options for publication today. You can write as Hemingway championed. You can be yourself. If it fits along the traditional pathway—wonderful. If not, who cares? Choose one the 50 other routes out there to be heard. Gertrude Stein said she never called an author bad because every writer has an audience. It was just a matter of finding them. I sure hope she was right. 😊

MN Wiggins’s Clinical Optics Made Easy: The Fabled (Second Edition) is out now with Davis Street Publishing.