Welcome new Writers’ Program instructor Lin Oliver! Lin is teaching a new course, Writing Humor for Young Readers (Reg# 389704) this Winter. Lin is teaching in person near UCLA on Tuesdays, 7-10pm PT starting January 17. She sat down with us to offer some insight into creative life and her upcoming course.

What sparks your creativity?
I write for children and young people, and being around my reading audience makes me feel inspired to create stories that spark their imagination, bring them joy and laughter, and help them to be kind and compassionate in this world.

What do you rely on for those times it’s difficult to find the time, energy, motivation and/or inspiration to write?
I am a classic procrastinator, so it’s often hard for me to begin writing. Once a work is in progress, it’s easier to continue. The fear of the blank page is real. I find it’s less intimidating to just try to plunge into the work somewhere, not necessarily at the beginning, not necessarily at my desk. Taking a little notebook to the beach, scratching out the first page on a restaurant napkin… moments like that help me get started and then I can plunge into the writing with enthusiasm.

What’s your favorite quote about writing?
EB White said,  “We should plunge into our writing as one plunges into the sea….prepared to splash about and make merry.”

What excites you most about teaching for the Writers’ Program?
I have been writing all my life, and I am excited to not only share what I have learned, but to learn and be inspired by the students. Writing is such an intimate process, and going on that creative journey with other kindred spirits is something I’m so looking forward to. I can’t wait to help people realize their own vision and find their unique voice.

What do you hope your students get from your course(s)?
My goal is for each student to find the story they want to tell and do it in a way that is particular to them. I look forward to each of us digging into our beliefs and figuring out what matters to us individually. Once you have that core, when you really know what you are writing about and why, the rest of your creativity starts to flow. Language is the clothing for ideas, so the first step is to refine your ideas and pair them with what’s in your heart, then the language is free to pour out of you.

Thank you to Lin for taking time to share with us. Look for more instructor interviews coming soon!

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