Have a mind full of ideas but an empty page in front of you? In preparation for Senior Planet’s upcoming event “Getting Published: An Author Panel Discussion,” we’ve asked our panelists, four brilliant older adult authors, for their expert advice on how they beat writers’ block and get their creative juices flowing!
Want to learn more about what it really means to be an author? Make sure to join us for the event on Tuesday, April 20, 1:30pm EDT. Hear about what it means to be an author looking to get published after 60! Click here for the event listing!
Meet our Authors and their Blockade Busting Methods!
William Keiper is an award-winning author of numerous nonfiction books, essays, blogs. and articles. He is an expert in aging, and a former NYSE, NASDAQ and private company CEO and board member. His latest book is Untethered Aging. It was preceded by Life Expectancy: It’s Never Too Late to Change Your Game, The Power of Urgency: Playing to Win with Proactive Urgency and Cyber Crisis – It’s Personal Now. Read more about William’s books here!
William’s advice for breaking through the blockage? He says: “In the case of writing, I might turn to doing online research into things that might be relevant to what’s next in my manuscript. When I survey and read other materials, I find triggers of data points, sound bites, quotations, and other things that could be “fire starters.” I might even see a spark of something in email spam or junk mail. To the extent these sparks even remotely relate to my project, even if I wanted to ignore them, I could not. Without much effort, I have learned something new and have a toehold to move forward with my writing.”
Pat Landaker is the owner of Living La Vida Senior, a senior citizen’s lifestyle brand offering programs and support services. She is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA), writes a column for Vegas Voice Magazine, and teaches “The Secrets of Positive Aging” at University of Nevada at Las Vegas. Her latest book titled, Living La Vida Senior is about senior life in the Las Vegas Valley.
When it comes to writer’s block, Pat advises: “My tip for writer’s block is to have an outline of your book nearby that you can use for workarounds. Use workarounds to move to another section of your book where the creative juices ARE flowing. Usually, when you return to where you were stuck, the juices will flow there too.”
Billie Best is an entertaining writer, authentic and relatable, with a weekly blog at billiebest.com and two books published in 2020. Her memoir How I Made a Huge Mess of My Life (or Couples Therapy with a Dead Man) combines poignant insight and delightful humor to describe her passage from her 40s to her 60s. Her collection of essays and short stories “I Could Be Wrong: 50+ Blog Posts, Short Reads, Big Laughs, Wit & Wisdom” relays bursts of gut punching truth in a fresh perspective on life beyond 60. Currently she resides in Oregon with her boyfriend and her dog.
When is come to staying creative, Billie notes: “A writer needs to develop a writing practice the way a pianist needs to practice playing the piano. It doesn’t matter so much the subject matter as the act of writing, making the connection between brain and writing instrument, and becoming fluid at self-expression. If a chosen subject feels blocked, write something else, a letter, a journal entry, an opinion, a poem or an observation. Write about your writer’s block. Just write.”
The freelance features of 30-year New York Times art director Jerelle Kraus have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, & several literary journals. Fulbright scholar in Munich, Fellowship Grantee in Paris, Fordham University professor, Visual artist, & Art Judge in Skopje & Istanbul, Jerelle is the author of the critically acclaimed book, All the Art That’s Fit to Print: Inside The New York Times Op-Ed Page. More info at JerelleKraus.com.
Jerelle follows a tip she got from a friend who authored 12 books when she wants to get past writer’s block: “When first drafting your story, don’t look at the screen. Look down at the keyboard. You’ll write much faster. Editing your work then becomes more fun!”
Moderated by: Alexis Patterson
Alexis Patterson is the Manager of Strategic Events & Special Projects for the Penguin Random House Audio team. Her main role is to plan, produce, and execute engaging events and activities to promote the joy of audiobook listening to a diverse range of audiences.
Alexis is a Virgo and is mostly interested in art, food, and anything astrology-related. Growing up in Coral Springs, Florida, Alexis has a blended personality of retired grandmother and New York socialite. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Creative Photography from The University of Florida. Go Gators! When it comes to reading, she loves stories that include characters from underrepresented groups or anything that makes her laugh and/or cry. Follow her @thebrooklynbookworm.
Want to learn about what come after you’ve broken through writer’s block? Make sure to join us for the panel on Tuesday, April 20, 1:30pm EDT! Click here for the event listing!