Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? If I didn’t write, I would have no idea what I’m thinking. I need to channel my thoughts onto paper so I can see what’s going on inside. And it’s often a huge surprise! I also find it rather amazing that humans can communicate this way, scribbling marks on paper and sharing our innermost thoughts with each other, sometimes hundreds of years later and millions of miles apart. Writing is one of the world’s most important inventions.
What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? All writers get writer’s block from time to time. When it happens to me, I consider whether I might be working on the wrong thing. If I set my current project aside and let myself work on whatever I’m drawn to, I usually get over the block—and can often even go back to the first project later. If that trick doesn’t work, a long walk usually does!
What is your favorite time to write? Prime writing time for me is mid-morning, usually after I’ve been out for a walk or a run. I need the physical activity first to be able to settle down and think. If I’m deep into a project, though, I often write in the evening, after dinner, for an hour or two.
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 had is: Finish Your Work! Seriously. I tend to start a lot of things and set them aside to start another thing and before I know it, I have a pile of ten starts, but no finished pieces. A few years ago, I decided this needed to change. I set to work on my giant stack of unfinished stories and book manuscripts, with a goal to submit them at regular intervals. It has paid off tremendously in finished work that is actually published.
What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? Being a writer these days means you have a lot of control over your work. You can publish it yourself, hire people to help you get it in the best shape possible, and hire others to help you publicize it. Everyone has an outlet on social media and the internet for getting the word out about their work, something that was definitely not true in past centuries. Social media has its downsides, for sure, but it is also an amazing tool that writers can and should take advantage of.
Raima Larter's Spiritual Insights from the New Science: Complex Systems and Life is out now with World Scientific Publishing Company.