The Organised Author

Interview with Rachel Michelle Wilson

Rachel Michelle Wilson is a professional dabbler (it’s a thing...), children’s book author, and founder of FREE THE WRITER, a website dedicated to learning from the greats, connecting with other writers, and satisfying the writer soul. She also loves edible cookie dough, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the red rocks of Southern Utah, and the art of wandering. Through her many years of battling perfectionism, she has learned to write through fear, anxiety, and self-doubt. Grab your free copy of her eBook 13 Strategies to Overcome Writer’s Block here.

What is something unique/quirky about you?
I sing about whatever I’m doing like, “Stirring the mac n’ cheese, yeah!” in a sultry jazz voice or “Why am I procrastinating writing again? I should get my pen” in an opera voice.

What do you do to unwind and relax?
I read (surprise, surprise), paint, play the piano or guitar, hike, swim, rock climb, stand up paddle board, hang out with my dreamboat husband, or build a campfire.
What are some of your pet peeves?
It drives me crazy when someone asks me, “Where do you want to eat?” then I voice my decision and find out they had their choice in mind all along. People should just tell me where they want to eat up front and stop wasting time. I’m hungry!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I fell in love with writing as soon as I learned how to write. I gave family and friends my stories for special occasions as gifts, and I loved making up bedtime stories for my sister. Yet I couldn’t call myself a writer for a long time because I felt like I didn’t deserve it. That’s why I started a website called FREE THE WRITER and chose @rachelmichellewrites as a social media handle. It was a declaration to myself that I am a writer.   

What inspired you to write your novel?
Most of what I’ve written fits into the world of academia more than fiction. Receiving my B.A. in literary studies taught me how to think better which helped me write better, but I felt starved for creative writing. Only recently have I jumped back into creative writing. Although I haven’t published a novel yet, I’m working on a middle grade mystery, and I’m also writing and illustrating a picture book.

What do you enjoy most about writing your novel?
I’m learning to enjoy the process more than the result. This helps me feel happy about the small successes like finishing a poem, painting a scene, or revising my picture book manuscript. As I train myself to focus on the creative process, my perfectionism and fear melts away.

As a reader, what genre do you love?
I love the depth of nature writing (oh Emerson), the heart of middle grade fiction, and the playfulness of picture books. Children’s books usually call to me the most (I try really hard to keep my inner child happy). I also enjoy solving fictional mysteries alongside sassy or funny protagonists. Really, I love reading any character driven story.

Cats or dogs?
Dogs. I love Goldendoodles. One day, sigh.

Dragons or unicorns?
I’d rather have a pet unicorn. Less drama.

Your favourite superhero?
Wonder Woman.

If you were an X-woman, what power would you like to have?
I’d want to breathe underwater. But based on my empathic personality, I’d probably actually have the power to read people’s minds.

Do you believe in writer’s block?
Writer’s block is a broad term that encompasses everything that blocks writers from writing. So yes, I believe it exists because writers definitely experience creative barriers. The term becomes less helpful, however, when writers use it to avoid looking inside themselves. In order to overcome their emotional barriers, writers need to take the time to identify what type of block they are experiencing and why they are experiencing it. You can find my blog post all about this here.

Any writing tips you’d like to share?
If you feel stuck, try using an online random word generator. You’ll be surprised where one word takes you.

Are you a pantser or a plotter?
Definitely a plotter. Outlining helps me split up an overwhelming project into manageable pieces.

If you would like to know more about Rachel, find her on Instagram, her website, Pinterest, or Facebook.