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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Sally Wiener Grotta

author Sally Wiener Grotta and an image of her book Of Being Woman

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? I’m driven to write to try to understand what is essentially incomprehensible about our world, most specifically: hate, cruelty, brutality, and the apparent need to trample “others.” I don’t find answers to the problems that haunt me, but writing helps me form the questions that we should be asking and express the quandaries that beset all of us. Of course, that’s all in the background. What comes out of my fingertips on the keyboard are character-driven stories that entertain and well as provoke questions. Through the sharing of these kinds of stories, we can start the discussions that we need to have to try to bridge the gaps and find ways forward together.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? When I get stuck with a story, it’s almost always because my unconscious mind knows that something isn’t right with the build up to that point. So I go back a few pages, and reread and edit what I’ve written. In the process, as I come to the end of what I’ve already written, my story and my characters pull me forward into what might have been unknown to me a few minutes ago.

What is your favorite time to write? I need to get at least a half hour of writing done first thing in the morning. That jump starts me for the day, waking up the story and characters that live in my mind. Then, I try to get at least a couple of hours of writing in the afternoon or evening. Barring that, I seek the nooks and crannies in the day when I can fit in a few minutes.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? You’ll often hear me say, “Butt to chair, hands on keyboard.” It doesn’t matter how much I love the story that’s in my mind, or how hard imposter syndrome has hit, the only way to write is to write. Once I get my butt in the chair and my hands on the keyboard, the words pour out of me, and I remember who I am.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? Being a writer today is precarious. I’ve made my living as a freelancer my entire career. But with the implosion of the publishing industry, the threats of AI, and the attitude that everything that is written should be free on the Internet, it’s become more and more difficult. My hope is in SFWA and other writers’ organizations who are fighting for us, and in the camaraderie and mutual support among writers and other creatives.

Sally Wiener Grotta’s Of Being Woman: A Sci-Fi Story Collection is out now with NobleFusion Press.