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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Nan Lynn Evenson

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? About ten years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press in Germany. As you all know, he changed the trajectory of world history. Classism broke down, and the masses could rise up. And for me, I can write picture books that help little ones learn new ways of counting. Great picture books also connect children and the readers who care about them in head and heart ways. That’s pretty important.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I simplify. For me, writer’s block isn’t about having too few things to say. It’s about having too many things to think. So, I take a break from M-F, and put on my calendar M and W to write a little about a narrow piece of the work. Only M and W until the crust breaks up. It’s hard.

What is your favorite time to write? Late morning. Early afternoon. When ideas become bigger than my head can hold…

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? I’m going to go with it make it simple. Try something. If you don’t like the process or outcome, try something else. Pace yourself. Find your joy spot and suspend self judgement. Become as open as possible to critique. You will learn a lot and feel more supported than you might expect. If you can afford a professional mentor/coach, do it. So much to gain…

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? Every age and time has something to offer, something that pulls us all forward–even if we don’t see it at that moment. I enjoy all eras, all genres, because there is always something important to learn and maybe to love. One beautiful sentence, whether written in 1000 AD or 2021 AD, still smells as sweet as a rose.

Nan Evenson’s Good Night (Not Really) is out now with Olympia Publishers.