I’m very pleased to welcome long time friend, writer & editor, Linda Gerber. I first met Linda over fifteen years ago. At that time, she was the editor of a magazine for which we both wrote articles. I was just starting out, and she mentored me along the way, and helped me to grow as a writer. I wanted to share her writing journey with you today, because Linda continues to inspire me with her unwavering passion, creativity and generosity, as well as her longevity.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing professionally since before my children were born. My oldest is in his early thirties.
Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes. I always loved writing even before I knew I had a talent for it. Putting pencil to paper was an evolving passion long before I ever made a living by writing or editing. It wasn’t until I worked for several publications that I considered myself a legitimate writer.
What is your inspiration, and how do you continue to be inspired?
My inspiration is at its peak when I come across a story that I feel in my heart, needs to be told. Something serious that I feel passionate about and I want to share with others. When I personally experience a situation in life and I know that readers would connect with me, it’s marketable. I am very optimistic so I usually put a funny spin on it. I continue to be inspired by daily events.
What types of writing and other creative projects have you been/are you involved in?
I have been involved with many writing events including: writers’ boot camps, judging writing contests, Barnes & Noble classes, and guest speaking. I continue to be involved in the process of writing and editing as leader of Grove City Writers’ Group.
I recently had the opportunity to speak to this group of writers, and they’re awesome! Young and old, a mix of fiction and non-fiction writers – I always learn something new 🙂
What do you enjoy most about writing?
Venting. Getting the word out, literally. It is sometimes even therapeutic to write, good or bad.
What advice would you give to someone interested in writing, and just getting started?
Not every writer needs to write a book or to get published in any form. It’s OK to just write for yourself. At the beginning, join a group of other writers who share your passion. You are welcome to become part of my writing group if you are local. (Grove City, PA) If you are looking into profitable writing, be patient. Start small with newspapers and magazines until you fine-tune your art. Although it’s great to see that byline, don’t give too much away for free. It’s alright to write without compensation to get those first few clips, but if you want true respect for quality work, make them pay!
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
It is quite an accomplishment to have been able to make a living by writing and editing although there is a lot of competition in both of those fields. Surprisingly, what I am most proud of is being able to give back through my writing group and my book group. Honestly, it’s hard work because I see my members as trusting and hungry for information so I have to give my best at every meeting. I know it’s hard to find time for people to get together physically for discussions. I want them to know that they will walk out of the groups feeling that it was not a waste of precious time. Giving back is what it’s all about!
What challenges and triumphs have you experienced as a writer over the years?
Challenges? Mostly deadlines, as I’m sure you know. Also writer’s block, which comes when you least expect it. Triumphs? Getting published. Seeing that byline and receiving a check that values your talent.
Describe your writing process. Pen and paper, or computer?
Definitely pen and paper. The computer comes in later. My writing process always starts with an idea, which needs to be written down immediately. Any piece of paper will do at the time. Short notes to remind me of key points are then folded and placed into my idea jar to be reviewed at a later date.
What types of books do you like to read?
I like every genre! The look and feel and smell of books… it’s all good! Since I lead a book club, I have to be open to all possibilities. Of course, the fact that I work in a library helps me to expand my horizons.
Favorite author(s)? E reader or actual book?
Actual book. By a landslide. Favorite author? Rebecca E. Neely 😉
Are you on Facebook/other social media, where blog audience can connect with you?
If anyone wants to contact me, they can either email me at email@example.com (please put Rebecca Neely in the title) or call me at Grove City Community Library at 724-458-7320. All are welcome to join my Writers’ group that is held within the library the third Wednesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.
Is there anything I haven’t asked that you’d like to share?
I used to think that writing was a talent that we are born with, like being an artist. I can’t draw and I don’t believe art is a learned talent. Artists are genetically gifted and can be amazing at art without any instruction because it comes from within.
So are we born with the talent of spinning a story? I have learned that there are very talented writers who can pour out words as smooth as silk with little effort, while others have different and sometimes more difficult ways of writing.
If you feel the desire to write, in my mind, you’re a writer.
My biggest issue? I can’t turn off the editing button! Even when texting or reading signs! Hey Rebecca, remember the quote on the wall of our cottage where you stayed for your little vacation? It has an error in usage. That’s why I bought it!
LOL – yes I do remember! And as you know, my biggest pet peeve is incorrect use of apostrophes, for making an ‘s’ possessive 🙂 That’s all I have to say about that…
Linda – thanks so much for your thoughtful and insightful answers. I appreciate you spending time with us today, and I wish you all the best as you continue your writing journey!
Rebecca E. Neely is a blogger, storyteller, writer & author. Visit her at www.rebeccaneely.com
Romance. Paranormal. Suspense.