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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Tammah Watts

author Tammah Watts holding a pair of binoculars and an image of her book Keep Looking Up

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Here’s why-it’s probably best to just quote myself from a passage I wrote in my book about the importance of writing for me and for others in the world: “Zora Neale Hurston’s well-known quote, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”, heralds what I believe to be the very essence of who you and I are— our moment-to-moment lived and witnessed experiences over time. We are our stories and our stories often give testament to our powerful connection with the more-than-human world when we grant ourselves permission to pause and take notice”. Keep Looking Up, Introduction xv-xvi

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! comes to mind straight away and all that that brings along. What I’ve found helpful is to create a ritual for my writing time and space–I light a candle that is visible, drink my hot beverage (usually coffee, sometimes tea if it’s later in the day into the night), and clear my writing desk of miscellaneous stuff that for me, serves as a bothersome distraction. This creates a space that mentally invites the opportunity to create. If I’m stuck still and the angst is building–I’ll remind myself it’s okay to grant myself permission to move away from “it” and do something I enjoy that will free me; for me that means stepping outside into my backyard and meandering around a bit, pull some weeds, stir the earth in the garden boxes, fill a bird feeder, and spend some time connecting with the birds. And it works!! I usually end up writing out there in the midst of the activity.

What is your favorite time to write? When the house is still with quiet, which for me usually means very early in the morning and late at night.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? I was attending the Hay House Writer’s Workshop in Houston in the Fall of 2019. Hay House CEO said, “write what you’re passionate about!”. That may seem obvious and at the very least makes sense–for me it, his advice has changed my life because I shifted my focus about what I would write about from a children’s book to my passion–birds and how they have helped me to heal. As a result, I was selected the Grand Prize Winner of the book proposals submitted and received a contract with Hay House without an agent. That book is Keep Looking Up: Your Guide to the Powerful Healing of Birdwatching and it is “hatching” on March 7, 2023! I could go on and on about how his advice that day has catapulted me on a marvelous and magical journey with and about birds. Suffice it to say–I’m known as The Bird Lady and I wholeheartedly embrace it.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? There are many more opportunities to have one’s words reach others with growing acceptance for diverse voices.

Tammah Watts’s Keep Looking Up: Your Guide to the Powerful Healing of Birdwatching is out now with Hay House Inc.