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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Susannah Kennedy

author Susannah Kennedy and an image of her book Reading Jane

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? I write because that is how I feel myself best. My childhood shaped me in a way that made it challenging to believe in my own voice (Reading Jane goes into this in detail). So I make sense of my life through words. Artists of all sorts are vital to the expression of the unspoken. Especially writers can work counter to perceived truths, and offer a crucial lens onto mainstream narratives.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? Take a break. Do something entirely different. Travel or spend extra time with family and friends (shared connection that is too often neglected). For me, this has always brought renewed energy and vision.

What is your favorite time to write? Mornings, I usually feel most inspired from about 6 to 11. I don’t like to work at night because my brain is then too wired for me to sleep.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Go deep. This takes courage and patience. We all know those moments when we vie away from something sensitive, preferring to pass over it or rely on glib descriptions. When you feel that pull, stop and dig deeper. Much like in body work, that little point of pain under the ball or foam roller, when tended to, will give way and will bring brilliant insight and greater ease.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? Not a lot, to be honest. It feels like writing well is an outmoded art. Who needs depth and poetry? I know — culture needs it, our mental health needs it. But the current surround is dispiriting. I write because that is how I work through complex emotions that otherwise would fester. I wish more people did the same.

Susannah Kennedy’s Reading Jane is out now with Sibylline Press.