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Member Spotlight: Priscilla Long

author Priscilla Long and an image of her book Dancing with the Muse in Old Age

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? I write to observe the world, to reflect on what I see, to find out what I think and what I feel, to find out who I am, to figure out some science or some sociology or something someone said yesterday. We need writing to cross borders of time and place, to find empathy with persons and cultures far away, to hold our own experiences and places and cultures and moments.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I do not have writer’s block and do not believe in it. I write to a timer every day and have ever since I read Dorothea Brande’s book Becoming a Writer (1934) in 1882. I do the Here and Now exercise simply recording what my senses receive. I write about what happened yesterday. I do writing prompts. I work on the current projects. What the hell is writer’s block?

What is your favorite time to write? Early in the morning, at 4, 5, or 6. At 3 in the morning if I am unfortunately awake, I try cleaning.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? You can write for a short period of time every day. There is no need to clear two hours or four hours. That is the way to become a writer. That is the advice I have received and the advice I give.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? We live in one hell of a stressful world, what with war, climate change, gun violence, a fractured democracy, and so on. Writing allows us to think things through, to really discover one’s own values, to compose our lives, to influence our own thriving. Writing is a quiet oasis amid all the noise, a refuge, and writing has also allowed me to articulate anti-ageism, ecological living and so on to a wider world. And– I can participate in literature, my life dream.

Priscilla Long’s Dancing with the Muse in Old Age is out now with Coffeetown Press.