Did you feel you had to work on your writing skills before submitting material for publication?
Immensely, and I still feel like I have to improve each time. I always try to be more succinct, more interesting and use the right words. I had a lot of confidence when I first submitted, and was sure my work was art. Sadly, my first works were clunky, with excess verbiage and poor grammar. I still shudder when I read it. I cried buckets when I opened the revisions – they looked like murder victims with all the red ink from my wonderful editors’ corrections. I’ve learned that writing requires a very thick skin and I have learned to take criticism with a smile. If I wanted to get better, I had to keep going.
Even now, I am blessed with work with Chumi Friedman and Jennifer Hanin of Act for Israel and my amazing parents who all read through my sow’s ear writing and helped me turn it into a silk purse. Writing is a hard skill; it’s like dancing. Everyone thinks they can do it, but it takes a lot of effort to do it well. I try to write something every day and send it for critique to friends and family. I still have a long way to go, but I won’t stop.
Do your family and friends play a role in your writing? Do they provide feedback and suggestions?
My writing is a testament to the love my friends and family shower me with. My mom, dad and my grandfathers are my biggest fans. They really hold me to high standards and they expect the best, and I always feel gratified when I see their smiles of approval. My friends are just as precious to me, they read my writing and give me feedback, they allow me to chat with them and bounce ideas, and they encourage me to keep writing when I doubt myself. I am surrounded by talented people who push me to continuously improve.
What is your favorite part about writing? What do you enjoy about it?
The best part of writing is creating. I have so much inside me and this allows me to connect to others with my thoughts. I enjoy telling stories and giving opinions and just exploring ideas. I would always write but I am grateful for the chance to be able to submit.