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Hope Koppelman is a writer and author of the bestselling book, Love Your Life in 30 Days (based on the Love Your Life 30-Day Project, which over 100,000 people have taken part in). Her next two books, The Gifts of Writing and The Secrets the Earth Keeps, are set to release in 2018. For the past 12 years, Hope has served as the creative director and editor of www.tut.com. She is also a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a Certified Yoga Instructor, and a life-long student of the Universe, learning to deepen and evolve her awareness of love every day. She spends her time between the mountains in Western North Carolina, the ocean in Florida, and a small village in Southern Spain.


 

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 (also a writer) would come into my bedroom each morning and crawl into bed next to me, pull out a notebook and pencil, 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 attached to it. 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. But that is secondary to the process of writing in itself, which has so many gifts to offer. I feel that every time I sit down to write I come away from it a better person. I come away with new insights, clarity I did not have before, a new perspective on life, perhaps more understanding or compassionate or forgiving.



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 to write the old fashioned way with pen and paper. It just depends on where I am on any particular day. I try to write for at least an hour each morning during the week, before work. I would like to write for longer, of course, but this is what I’ve found works for me at this time in my life. 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 I make are made around that. I prefer to write in the morning, first thing when I wake up. I make a hot cup of tea or a 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 tell 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 each 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 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 scared to share something so sacred with other people, even my close friends. But eventually, this secret becomes a weight, a burden, if  not shared. We cannot be silent about who we are. There comes a point when a voice inside us says, “I’m not waiting any longer…” and in that moment we know it is time to step fully into who we are. It’s time to share our truth and let ourselves be seen for who we are. 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.