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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Victoria Costello

author Victoria Costello and an image of her book Orchid Child

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? I grew up thinking I should keep my weird thoughts to myself. Fortunately, writing them down came to me as a next best alternative. Lo and behold I discover what was weird about me was also in many other peoples’ innermost thoughts. Thus a storyteller was born. The throughline for me, as a writer who’s worked in film and TV, science journalism, memoir and now fiction, is the use of storytelling to heal. To slightly revise Joan Didion, we change the stories we tell ourselves in order to heal.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I know many smart people say you should just sit down and do it, free write whatever comes into your head. Others listen to music or read poetry. For me taking a walk is the best thing for getting past a major block, or that blah, I have nothing worthwhile to say feeling.

What is your favorite time to write? Morning after I drink two cups of coffee, feed the cats and sit at my ancestral altar for several minutes, meditating.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Readers are smart, they don’t need to know everything that happened before the thing you’re writing about. They’ll figure it out.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? Readers, especially younger ones, are incredibly savvy about themselves and how their minds work. Makes them very receptive to new ideas and melding of old and new ideas.

Victoria Costello’s Orchid Child is out now with Liminal Books.