author Lisa Rogers smiling looking at the cover and an image of her book Discover Her Art

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? For me, the essence of writing is to allow a reader to enter a world of possibility. I am most interested in understanding moments of inspiration and creation, and through writing about those moments, I hope readers will feel empowered to create. Everyone has something to say, whether through writing or other creative means, that is unique and important. How wonderful that writers can carry that gift forward and inspire others.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? Taking a walk with my dog, running, swimming, or simply daydreaming is the best way to clear my mind and open it to creative thinking. Once I realized an essential truth when I was running on the beach. To cement it in my mind, I stopped and wrote it in the sand. These moments of inspiration can't be forced, and to make space for them to come is the way that works for me. That applies to my initial inspiration as well as for revision.

What is your favorite time to write? I write in my mind in the early morning, before I even get up and start on my day. That's when I sift through my thoughts. Sometimes, complete stories rise to the surface and I scribble them down; other times, the essence of what I've been trying to say comes through. Inspiration can come at any time that my mind seemingly is at rest, and if I don't have pencil and paper handy, I repeat the phrase or sentence over and over so I do not forget it. Otherwise, that realization could slip away.

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? One important takeaway is that revision is not polishing a manuscript until every word is in the right place; it's getting to the heart of the story through close examination of why we want to write in the first place. The piece of advice that allowed me to realize my dream of becoming an author is to not give up, and I'm grateful to the community of writers who encouraged and supported me. They made the difference.

What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? I love connecting with other writers and with teachers and readers through social media or through virtual panels and school visits. These connections increase my awareness and appreciation of other writers' work and help me grow as a person and author. I am excited to see writers share stories from their lives, families, and traditions. These are the kinds of stories I would have loved to read as a child and to which all children should have access. I believe that the way to a better world, where people are respected and honored and celebrated, is through connection and understanding. Books can help make that happen.

Lisa Rogers's Discover Her Art: Women Artists and Their Masterpieces is out now with Chicago Review Press.