Interview with writer, Amy Nielsen
Recently I had the chance to interview Amy Nielsen, a writer and business woman extraordinaire! She’s the creator of a successful website and podcast called Big Abilities, for parents and educators of children on the Autism Spectrum. She also writes Young Adult contemporary and is active on the blogging scene. (Not to mention a pretty cool chick).
Amy, why don’t you start by telling us a little about yourself and your writing accomplishments.
Thanks so much for having me! I spent 17 amazing years in public school as a media specialist and teaching television production with a curriculum I created that is available on amazon titled, Teaching Television Production: Beyond the Morning Newscast. I stalked authors across the state of Florida annually at the Florida Association of Media Educator's conference, aka Librarian's Gone Wild. After my youngest son was born, who is on the autism spectrum, I left education and now work as a freelance writer for multiple magazines, and other online platforms. I have two books about autism published with AAPC Publishing, It Takes a Village: How to Build a Support System For Your Exceptional Needs Family and Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder, and am continuing to revise the YA novel WORTH IT I started with my students 10 years ago.
So Amy, what type of material do you usually write?
Typically I write nonfiction articles for parenting magazines and other nonfiction platforms such as Yahoo, The Mighty, Playground Magazine, The Autism Helper, Scary Mommy, Love What Matters, and more.
“My YA novel WORTH IT is the passion project I've dedicated most of my recent time working on.”
I’m dying to know, what does your writing and revision process look like?
My writing process thrives in silence. Because my husband, who is in the video gaming and sports industry, also works from home this is sometimes challenging. His work relies on him knowing every headline ESPN has to offer, and mine involves me being able to creep into my own head and create something from nothing. But we make it work! My revising process is a little different. Although I write in long spurts in silence, I like to revise in tiny chunks of time often while doing something else such as listening to a podcast or watching the news. Revising to me, is about taking the raw words and making them a part of my life, and life doesn't happen in silo.
What is the hardest part about writing, in your opinion?
To me the hardest part is minimizing distractions. Writing on a computer means the internet is always available. From online shopping to checking emails, it can be difficult to sometimes resist the urge to open my browser. I also write from my kitchen table, so the distractions run the gamut from wanting to empty the dishwasher to cleaning a dirty window. To combat the distractions, often I will set a timer for how long I want to write. More times than not, when the timer goes off, I am just getting into the groove and keep going!
Okay, so, what’s your favorite thing about being a writer?
Writing something that resonates with another person is my favorite things about being a writer. When someone reaches out to me that a blog or article I've written helped them or moved them in some way, that is my fuel to keep going.
Many of my readers are new and debut authors. What’s your best tip?
Keep learning, but don't let what you don't know stand in your way. Your craft can always be improved, but you'll never reach perfection. So write while you learn!
Thank you so much Amy for sharing your passion and writing process with us!! I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m excited to hear more about your YA novel, Worth It and to follow your website and podcasts.