Background Image
Background Image2
Tad Kershner

Tad Kershner has been a filmmaker, a youth leader, and a professional storyteller.
He has published two nonfiction books for teens, his writing has appeared in several magazines, and he has won awards for screenwriting and short fiction. He can frequently be found hiking the primeval fern forests near his home in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and teenage son.

Why do you write?

I've always loved stories that just weave a magic spell around you and draw you in. I've always loved beautiful words, sentences that just flow so gracefully they enrapture you.

What's your advice for beginning writers?

Remember that your musician friends spend hours a day just practicing scales. Writing false starts is the same thing. Ultimately it makes us better even if we don't end up using it. Visual artists get to do rough sketches, but everything writers type looks like it's printed. It's too easy to look at the words on the page and think they're worthless if they aren't publication-worthy.

How do you find time to write?

Anything that you really love, you don't find time for. You make it. I'm sure Michelangelo had days when he crawled out of bed and said, "Oh goody, I get to lie on my back all day freezing my butt off on a creaky scaffold in that drafty church." But he also had those moments when he looked up at all those gorgeous colors and said, "I made this really incredible thing today!"

How do you handle writer's block?

Stop thinking and write! If you can't write what you're working on, write about something you love, something beautiful, something that inspires you. Remember why you started this crazy artform in the first place.

What's your secret?

It usually works better if you grind the coffee beans before you put them in the press. No, really. Don't compare your rough draft to anyone else's finished work. For that matter, don't compare yourself to anyone, ever! We don't watch Cirque du Soleil and think "I'll never be good at anything because I can't fold my legs behind my head." We recognize that there's a huge amount of practice that goes into something like that before we ever see it. So don't get discouraged when it takes a while before the words dance together in really beautiful ways.

What do you do when you're not writing?

I live in this incredible place, with these fantastic rugged mountains and trees and giant ferns. We have misty lakes and islands. So any time I can get out and enjoy that, I do! Hiking or biking or kayaking, it's all good.

Any parting words?

Have faith in yourself, show up at the page every day, and see what happens. Like any art, it's going to take time. Enjoy the journey!

Twitter Facebook Blog