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Hope Koppelman is a writer and truth seeker living in Asheville, North Carolina. She has devoted her life to delving deeply into all she loves—writing, spirituality, yoga, books, friendship, philosophy, and love itself. She is the co-author of the bestselling book, Love Your Life in 30 Days (written with friend and mentor, Mike Dooley). She has two books in progress that will be releasing in 2017: The Gifts of Writing, about the writing process and the creative process as a whole, as well as a children’s book, The Secrets the Earth Keeps, about the interconnectedness of all things. Her longtime commitment serving as the editor and creative director of TUT for over a decade has helped to fuel her passion for writing, spirituality, and the deeper side of life.

 

 

 

 

 

FAQ

1. When did you begin writing?
2. Why do you write?
3. What does your writing process look like?
4. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
5. What lesson(s) have you learned recently about writing, about yourself?

 

1. When did you begin writing?

I don’t remember a time in my life before writing. Even in my earliest memories I was writing. When I was very little my mother (who was also a writer) would come into my bedroom each morning and crawl under the covers next to me, pull out a pen and notebook, and write down my dreams from the night before. I was introduced to books and reading at an early age and both my parents were avid readers. When I was five I started dictating stories to my mother while she typed them on the typewriter, and those became the gifts I gave to teachers and friends on special occasions. Writing is a part of who I am. I can’t imagine my life without it. It’s become the way that I pray, the way that I meditate, and the way that I process everything that is going on in my life and the world around me.

2. Why do you write?

I love the process of writing. As Harper Lee said, “Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself.” This is certainly true for me. I get so much satisfaction out of the process of writing itself, without anything else having to come from it, that the process alone is enough to sustain me. That isn’t to say I don’t want to share my writing with others. There is a deep desire inside me to share what I write with the world and to let myself be seen. But that is secondary to the process of writing itself, which has so many gifts to give. I feel that every time I sit down to write I come away from it a better person. I come away from it with new insights, clarity I did not have before, a new perspective on life, perhaps more understanding or compassionate or forgiving. This is why I write. The gifts that it offers us are so plentiful and rewarding.

3. What does your writing process look like?

My writing process ebbs and flows. It’s constantly changing. Sometimes I write only at the computer, other times I write while I walk early in the morning, and sometimes I prefer the old fashioned pen and paper technique. It just depends on where I am at each stage in my life. At the moment, I try to write for an hour or so each morning during the week before I start work. I would like to write for longer, of course, but this is what I’ve found works for me at this time. On weekends I am able to write for longer, and my weekends seem to gravitate around my writing practice. I know that I will spend at least 4 or 5 hours each day writing, so any other plans that I make are made around that. I prefer to write in the morning, first thing when I wake up. I make my hot tea or maca latte and light some incense and then I sit down to the work and begin. That is perhaps my favorite feeling on earth.

4. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

The same advice I give to myself each day: Be the person you want to be — today, now, in every way you possibly can. Don’t wait. There will never come a time when everything is in place. To wait for inspiration to strike, or for the feeling of readiness to arrive, robs you of your power. It’s a lie to believe that one day you might become a writer. If you love to write, you are a writer now, and everything you do has to scream that to the universe. Write as much as you can every day (if five minutes is all you have, that’s enough). Think, speak, and act like the writer you are. Stop saying “one day,” “maybe,” “I wish,” and start saying things like “I am doing it,” “this is who I am now,” “I’m ready.” Be the person you are, right now, today, in every moment, in every way.

5. What lesson(s) have you learned recently about writing, about yourself?

I have learned that it is essential to be who I am. All of my life I have kept my writing a secret, I have been afraid to share something so sacred with other people, even my closest friends who love me. But eventually this secret becomes a weight, a burden, if it is not shared. We cannot be silent about who we are. It will kill us. There comes a point when a voice inside us says, “I’m not waiting anymore,” and in that moment we know it is time to step fully into who we are. It’s time to share our truth with the world and let ourselves be seen. It’s time to step out of the shadows and into the light. There comes a time when we cannot wait another day. I am learning to trust this feeling, not to fear it, to listen to it when it speaks.