Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? As an enduring form I believe writing stands the test of time. It is an important medium for all aspects of communication, penetrating and connecting individuals, groups, communities and cultures. I have always known that my soul-calling was to write books. My first novel, The Taxidermist's Lover was published in December 2020 and hope to publish many more.
What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? Firstly, I don’t believe in writers block because you are never putting words on paper non-stop, 100% of the time. Therefore, there will always be gaps in perceived productivity. You have to live, in order to write, so I feel all experiences can count as writing. For example, you could be witnessing a sunset and that sunset later gets written up as a scene in your novel. Nothing is wasted. If you need a cure for anything, I'd suggest to get outside in nature.
What is your favorite time to write? I am an afternoon/evening scribbling in a comfy chair with a pad and paper sort of writer. I then type up my handwritten notes in the morning. I journal every day and try to remember my dreams from the night before or some aspect or feeling that I need to capture before it disappears into the day. In terms of discipline I write every day but try not to be too hung up on word count.
What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? This piece of advice could probably apply to most life situations and not just for writers but I was told once: if 9 out of 10 friends tell you you’re drunk, sit down! i.e. if the consensus is so great on one particular issue you really should listen to what is being said. Feedback and constructive criticism is a writer's pathway to improvement.
What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? I feel we are on the brink of an exciting revolution in recording experiences as they happen. Information is instantaneously uploaded online and accessible to a global audience which is terrifying but also offers great opportunity. The economic, political and environmental climate is so volatile across the whole planet at this point in time and out of all this turmoil I believe great creativity will emerge. There is so much to be said, so many unrecorded stories surfacing from a bubbling over of oppression, repression and a shedding of light on what has been hidden. As writers we hold responsibility to tackle controversial subjects such as race, culture, gender & other previously taboo subjects in a creative and authentic way.
Polly Hall's The Taxidermist's Lover is out now with CamCat Publishing.