All Member Spotlights
Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Susan H. Gordon

author Susan Gordon and her book The Story of Prosecco Superiore

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? As a heavily research-based nonfiction (wine) writer who is also very concerned with how writing promotes or shape outlooks, I worry about writing technique, style, mechanics as much as I worry about subject matter. I see a written work as a creative endeavor in the way that, for example, a painting can be: something that can be hard to understand itself and that therefore can offer ways to understand other things better. Writing and, just as important, its companion which is attentive and active reading are ways to dissect something and not necessarily find ways to put it back together but instead to offer new otherwise unknowable possibilities. They are ways to get lost in the unfamiliar, not to clarify but to move better in an ever more complicated and unstable world.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? Reading, either research materials that I’m writing about or more methodological concerns from a variety of fields that I can apply to my writing. Both are ways to think anew, to look at some object or place or idea from or into other places that can expand possibilities and uses for nonfiction and wine writing. I also go for long walks as a reliable way to work out blocks and knots.

What is your favorite time to write? The best time of day varies depending on my writing task. I’m most creative later in the day and evening. I’m a sharper editor/re-writer and wordsmith in the morning.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? I learned this while working on my MFA years ago: read all comments and feedback, then don’t do anything for a month. What sticks with you (you’ll forget a lot of it) is what you’ll want to apply to that piece of work, either to follow the advice or (my addition) push back against it.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? Finally, now there is a plurality of voices and insights and well as new forms of what writing can be. I’m very inspired and guided by writers in genres and fields completely different from mine.

Susan H. Gordon’s The Story of Prosecco Superiore is out now with Rowman & Littlefield.