Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? Going into a quiet peaceful space and writing and rewriting and editing and creating and imagining takes me away from world into my own. It sounds like a narcissistic act, and in a way, it is, but then you are there with so many other characters and you totally disappear. Are not important. Because they tell a story that is not your own. Or is it? I feel it is an important medium to the world because the very act of reading brings my mind inside another place that is so visual. And when I am in the presence of a really good writer, it is such pleasure spending time with what that author shares: wisdom, passion, angst, passion, their world. And that is so satisfying. Like seeing a great painting.
What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? Get in the chair and write. Honestly, I don't have the time or patience for it--I have too many thoughts in my mind swirling, but if I did, I would do something else, like dig in the earth and plant, or cook a great meal, or take a walk and then come back to the blank page, fresh. And begin again. Just start. The act of doing is very productive.
What is your favorite time to write? I organize my kitchen, bedroom, (not my closets!) and then go into my room and write. I like morning light to write in. When i have a lot of energy. But I am flexible. Each day often brings something different. But I am definitely an early morning person. And I do it for hours on end. I get lost in it.
What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Put it in the drawer. Don't look at it. Come back to it when you are ready. With fresh eyes. Be ruthless in your editing. Objective. And not sensitive about cutting and trashing.
What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? That's an interesting question. I think you have to be aware more of what is going on politically and socially in the entire world around you.
Jane Breskin Zalben's A Bear for Bimi, illustrated by Yevgenia Nayberg, is out now with Kar-Ben Publishing.