Hope Koppelman is a writer living in Asheville, North Carolina. Her first two books, The Gifts of Writing and The Secrets the Earth Keeps, are set to release in 2020. For the past 15 years, Hope has served as the creative director and editor at 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.
1. When did you begin writing?
I don’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t writing. Even in my earliest memories I was writing. When I was very young, my mom (who was also a writer) would come into my bedroom each morning and crawl into bed next to me with a notebook and pen to write down my dreams from the night before. When I was about five years old, I started dictating stories to my mom while she typed them on the typewriter, and those became the gifts I gave to teachers and friends and family. 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, the way that I process everything 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 , 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—I have a deep desire to share what I write with the world. But that’s secondary to the process of writing 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 and compassionate and forgiving.
3. What does your writing process look like?
My writing process ebbs and flows. It’s constantly changing. Sometimes I write at the computer, other times I write while I walk early in the morning, and sometimes I prefer the old fashioned way… just pen and paper. I try to write for at least an hour each morning during the week, before work. I wish it were longer, of course, but this is what I’ve found works for me at this time in my life. On weekends, I’m able to write for longer, and my weekends seem to gravitate around my writing practice. 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 in life.
4. What lesson(s) have you learned recently about writing?
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 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 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.