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  • Natalia Sylvester: A Q&A with our May Guest Editor
This blog was featured on 05/15/2018
Natalia Sylvester: A Q&A with our May Guest Editor
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
May 2018
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
May 2018

This month we are celebrating our May guest editor, Natalia Sylvester, author of Everyone Knows You Go Home. She sat down with She Writes to answer some of our top questions. 

SW: Describe your writing routine. 

NS: First of all, thank you so much for having me as this month's guest editor! I'm excited to get to know the She Writes community.

My writing routine varies tremendously from story to story, and even from month to month. But for the most part, I find I'm most productive when I wake up a couple of hours early and get a few pages in (I like to aim for 1000, though I try to be flexible) before my workday starts. I go through phases when I write every day, and phases when I don't write for weeks or months at a time. Sometimes that time away from the page is really necessary. I try to be honest about it with myself: am I stepping away because I need time to let my ideas breathe? Or am I stepping away out of fear and procrastination? 

SW: When was the moment you started to feel like a writer?

NS: Anytime I write and feel satisfied with the outcome—whether it's just one line or image, or a character that surprised me, I feel like a writer. I feel like that's what it's really all about. The other moments, like getting published or doing signings or events with authors I idolize...those moments are amazing, too, and in a very surreal way they remind me that I'm an author with books out. But that's a very different kind of joy than feeling like a writer. Writing is how we find our purpose. Publishing helps us do more of it. 

SW: What is the number one piece of advice you'd give to aspiring authors?

NS: Read widely. Read perspectives different from yours. Start from a place of truth, from a character or place or topic that you feel so deeply connected to you can't imagine anyone else writing about it. Be willing to do the hard work of not just writing, but revising and rewriting and making mistakes and starting over again. Don't give up despite all of it, but also use that to grow and learn, because it'll make you a better writer and a better person.  

SW: Who inspires you?

NS: So many people! I'm inspired by the fearless and raw words of poets and writers like ire'ne lara silva. By my mom, who's reinvented herself so many times in her lifetime. By my father, who always had a book in his hands and the most serious work ethic of anyone I knew growing up. By my editor, Vivian Lee—the way she fosters and advocates for her authors' stories makes me always strive to be a voice worth championing. I'm sure there are countless others I'm leaving out. In general, I'm inspired by people who cause me to question myself and the world around me, and who help me expand my worldview.

SW: Why is it important for women to tell their stories?

NS: Because men are never asked why it's important for them to tell their stories—their importance is an unspoken given, unchallenged and accepted. I want that for our stories, and I want that to happen on our terms and with our voices at the center. 

Let's be friends

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