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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Tracy Swinton Bailey

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Writing helps me better understand myself and my motivations. It’s the channel through which my best ideas crystallize and flow out into the world. It’s an important medium because it connects us, reminds us of our humanity and lets us know we’re not alone.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I like to set a time to write. If I’m able to stick to my schedule and get a few words out every day, I’m less likely to deal with writer’s block. I have to make peace with the fact that most of that writing will be crappy, but there will be a few nuggets I can mine and expand at a later time.

What is your favorite time to write? I like to write early in the morning, around 5am, when my house still quiet. I’m a morning person, so I do my best thinking as the sun is coming up.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? The best piece of writing advice I’ve received is to commit to being a dedicated reader. That’s what I want to impart to other writers. Read everything, challenge yourself, step outside your comfort zone. Read like a writer and take note of what works for you and what doesn’t. Above all else, invite the perspectives of others to take up residence in your head for a while and be open to adopting new points of view.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? I’m excited to write stories that might impact our social and political climate. I’m excited about having the opportunity to speak on behalf of those who have been silenced for far too long.

Tracy Swinton Bailey’s Forever Free: A True Story of Hope in the Fight for Child Literacy is out now with Other Press.