Welcome back to the third installment with author Sarah Bracey White, Poet and Essayist.
VAH: This question is one asked often, especially by those who are not writers. Sarah, what helped you know you were a writer? When did it all begin?
SBW: I honed my storytelling skills as a 12 year old letter writer with a pen pal in South Dakota and a boyfriend in New Rochelle who both waited anxiously for my missives. Nothing like an interested audience to make you know that you’re good at something and try to be better.
VAH: And what would be your best advice for emerging writers?
SBW: Read, learn the craft of writing and be prepared for the onslaught of rejections that will precede any success you may experience. And find a supportive writing group. Mine did an “intervention” when I considered giving up because nobody seemed interested in publishing my work. Thank God they did. Otherwise, I would never have made it to the place where I’m getting my memoir published.
VAH: Sounds like the “intervention” could be its own story. Writing community – Do you have a favorite conference or writing retreat/seminar and if so, why is that a favorite?
SBW: No. But I do belong to a writers’ group that for over 25 years has sustained, browbeat, and kept me writing when it seemed like a futile endeavor.
VAH: I know a few writers that have the benefit of a long time writers’ group – that’s a tremendous support. Sarah, are you a full time writer? And what is the day or night job that sustains you so you may write?
SBW: I am an arts consultant to a Westchester, NY town of 83,000 people. I curate exhibits by local artists in public buildings, manage a writing program for young children I designed the program as I would have wanted when I was a young writer, sponsor a poetry contest for poets of all ages, manage a group of poets who take poetry into under served places like hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, prisons, etc. I also edit several publications and write grants to fund all my programs. The job challenges my creative side and feeds my love of people, which in turn fuels my writing.
Sarah’s interview wraps up on the 30th.
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