WILMINGTON, MA — Below are five quick questions with Wilmington writer Erica Marchant.
Marchant is a member of one of the Wilmington Memorial Library’s writing groups. Marchant contributed to the groups’ brand new anthology, “The Writers Next Door.”
A book launch event is taking place on Monday, August 20 at 7pm at the Wilmington Memorial Library. At the launch, the book’s writers will participate in a panel discussion and a book selling/signing. Refreshments will be served. All proceeds from book sales will be donated to Friends of the Library.
#1) What is the story you contributed to the anthology called? What is it about? Why did you write it?
I contributed poetry to this anthology. I wanted to write a short story, but everything I started ended up running too long and I couldn’t get my act together by the deadline. I started my writing career as a poet. I write it as a way to express myself and my thoughts. Where my fictional stories are mostly fiction, my poetry is a true reflection of how I see the world around me.
The poems I included are reflections of my mother. She lost her life to cancer in October 2016 and I wrote these poems to cope with her loss. While they may invoke sadness, my mother was a true champion for my writing and always proud of my accomplishments. I am happy I have something in this anthology that memorializes her.
#2) Why did you join the library’s Writing Group? Do you find it beneficial?
I’ve always been a writer, but never let it be the center and focus of my life. When my mother was diagnosed it made me realize life is short and you only get one to live. I knew I needed to make writing the main focus and to do so I needed to surround myself with other writers. I found the writing group through our amazing library and knew it was just what I needed. Since joining the group early last year my writing has grown beyond my own belief. It has been extremely beneficial. I am a better writer and a better person because of my writing friends. I gain valuable feedback from others like me and am able to give them valuable feedback not only growing myself as a writer but watching them grow as well. Before this group, it had been almost 4 years since I published anything. Now I’ve established a regular writing routine and am regularly submitting work.
#3) Have you written anything else outside the group? Where can my readers find your other works?
Yes. I am currently working on my first science fiction novel One Way Ticket, and have others I am ready to move forward with when this one is done. I’ve published poetry and flash fiction, and also had a fiction column in Dirty Water Newspaper in 2013. Besides writing short stories, flash fiction, and poetry, I am a freelance writer. I took a hiatus from writing to care for my mother when she was sick from 2014 through her passing, so it has been a few years since I’ve had any publications.
Readers will find updates about my work and publications on my website, which is still a work in progress, at EricaMarchant.com, on Facebook and Twitter. I also run the Confessions of a Career mom blog.
#4) What advice would you give to other aspiring Wilmington writers?
1.) Just write. I spent my entire life wishing I was a writer and then “trying” to be a writer until I finally said, “I am a writer.” To be a writer all you need to do is write every day and then find some way to share that writing with the world.
2.) Join a writing group (like ours) because the support from fellow writers is immeasurable.
3.) Forget about the fear. It will always be there. I have read many books and memoirs from other writers and even the most famous, like Stephen King himself, feel fear sometimes. Do it despite the fear.
4.) If you want to write, don’t stop. Even if others discourage you, to which there will always be someone willing to discourage you.
5.) Do what works for you. Stephen King writes an epic 1000 word novel in 6 months. Other writers take years to write 300 words. If you just keep writing, you will finish something. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. Write 10 words a day or 5,000. Write whenever you have time, but remember to take time for your writing.
#5) What are you looking forward to the most regarding the Book Launch Event on August 20?
I am looking forward to meeting local residents and sharing our work. We worked hard on putting this book together and self-publishing it. We learned so much along the way it is just amazing to have something presentable! Plus, it’s great for our community to see how much support the library gives to local writers, among all the resources they offer.
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