All Member Spotlights
Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Robert Winslow Stock

author Robert Winslow Stock and an image of his book Me and the Times

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? I began writing, to support my family, at the age of 21. Over the following 73 years, I’ve never stopped. And when I’m not writing for cash, I write for myself because it makes me feel productive and of value. As to the world, writing enables readers to access the considered thoughts and emotions of the wisest and most imaginative among us.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? As a journalist, I learned to persevere because there was no alternative. I couldn’t afford writer’s block. I have carried that ability into my non-journalistic writing.

What is your favorite time to write? I like to start writing mid-morning after I have come to terms with the morning paper. Otherwise, I have no favorite time.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Every word counts. In our concern for moving an article or book text forward, we tend to be satisfied if a sentence conveys the meaning and/or emotion we want; there’s a temptation not to dwell on the individual words. But improving individual words lifts a whole manuscript.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? Very little. I find that the larger culture has been degraded, and it’s getting worse. The action is online, where the search for key words, for easy entertainment, rules. Publishers only buy “sure things.” Self-publishing has arrived…but it’s an exercise in futility for most authors and here comes AI. What’s to like?

Robert Winslow Stock’s Me and The Times: My Wild Ride from Elevator Operator to New York Times Editor, Columnist, and Change Agent (1967-97) is out now with Gatekeeper Press.