November 19, 2019
Interview by Jessica Mack
Marcie Hill is all about risks, leaving a career and full-time job in human resources to pursue her dreams of being a writer. With over 3,500 blog posts and eight self-published books under her belt, she is living her dream with no regrets, going full speed ahead with her soon-to-be published book on Chicago’s roller skating history.
Q: What is your role within the Chicago Writers Association?
A: I am the education program coordinator and the newsletter editor.
Q: What accomplishment in your writing life/career has had the most impact on you as a writer? What have you learned from it?
A: My greatest accomplishment was having the audacity to leave a full-time job and 12-year career in human resources to pursue my dream of being a magazine writer. Here are my lessons:
- You cannot be content with your current and past successes. You have to keep working on the next one.
- Rejection is a big part of writing life. If you cannot handle it, consider a different career.
- Don’t leave a job to pursue a writing career unless you have at least six months of expenses saved and a Plan B in case your career doesn’t take off.
Q: What made you personally decide to become involved in the writing community?
A: I needed the creative energy of my fellow scribes. Great ideas and good vibes are additional perks.
Q: What advice would you give to any new aspiring writer?
A: Pursue your dream despite your fear. Get used to rejection; you’re not going to make it in this profession without it. Never stop writing. Join virtual and in-person writing groups for creative support. Get an accountability partner and mentor to help you stay focused and accomplished on this journey.
Q: What special projects have you worked on and what is your favorite moment of being a CWA board member so far?
A: Our educational programs are by far my favorite CWA moments. In addition to giving members literary nuggets they can use to achieve their goals, we get a chance to meet our members in person. We also get feedback from members in person, as well as gain a few new members.
Q: Would you say your writing style has evolved over time? How so?
A: My writing style is less rigid and more engaging. I used to write with few transitional words and phrases and less personality. Today I try to bring out the essence of the individual or topic in a conversational and engaging manner. I also put more of myself into my writing.
Q: What do you think are the most important elements that make good writing?
A: I think research, telling relevant and engaging stories, proper grammar and punctuation and connecting with your readers are elements of good writing.
Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
A: Try different genres and writing styles. You just never know what you'll like. People are always willing to help; don't be afraid to ask. Rejection is part of the writing life. Try to get rejected as much as possible to ease the pain. Not everyone is going to like your work. Appreciate the people who do. And...keep on writing!
Bio: Marcie Hill is a freelance writer, blogger, trainer and author who left her job to pursue her dream of writing. She has written over 3,500 blog posts; self-published eight books; and presented at national and local conferences. Currently, she’s researching Chicago’s roller skating history with a goal of publishing her book soon.
Interview conducted by CWA intern Jessica Mack
Jessica Mack was previously Editor-in-Chief for the Joliet Junior College Blazer, editing and preparing articles for publication and managing a general staff. Under her leadership, the Blazer was 2018 Best-In-Show at the Illinois Community College Journalism Association annual fall contest and received 2018 Awards for Excellence. She is currently working on her Masters of English at DePaul University with a focus on creative writing and hopes to become a book editor.
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