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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Philip D. Yancey

author Philip D Yancey and his book Undone

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? People are flighty, inconsistent, unstable. I am. But words freeze in time a moment of insight–or despair, or beauty, or any number of expressions. Writing gives a permanence to lives that otherwise may seem like a conveyer belt that never stops.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? Drive way out of the way to Starbucks, then let the guilt over wasted time propel you back to the desk. Alternatively, you may take a laptop with you and find a corner in the Starbucks.

What is your favorite time to write? I start off in the morning with a head of steam. After procrastinating a few hours around lunch time, I dive back in and force myself to put in several more hours in the afternoon.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Slow down. I write nonfiction, and it’s so easy to speed up to get to the point. No, slow down and soak in sensory details. Make scenes, not points.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? The good news: you can write something tonight that will provoke a response from Kazakhstan tomorrow. The bad news: it’s so much harder to make a living as a writer these days.

Philip D. Yancey’s Undone: A Modern Rendering of John Donne’s Devotions is out now with Rabbit Room Press.