Interview at DaytonLit

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Fredrick Marion writes a weekly newsletter that supports and informs the Dayton Literary Community. Thank you Fred for this interview and for all you do for writers!


Three questions with author Jude Walsh


Q: What writing advice has had the biggest impact on your writing life?

A: Love your writing! We are often our own harshest critic. My friend and mentor Eric Maisel has taught me many, many things but that piece of advice has served me best. I look at my work, even those messy first drafts, with love and gratitude. I literally say, “I love you work!” I allow it to be imperfect because the truth is it always will be. Loving my writing also makes it easier to submit. When rejected I just say, hmmmmm, must have sent that piece to the wrong address. I take a look at the writing, revise if needed, give it some love and send it out again immediately. If you are in love with your writing it is easier to turn to it in the morning, or whenever you have found some time to write, because it is like being with a dear friend. So, love your writing!

Q: Did writing help you cope with your divorce?



A: I have kept journals since I was about twelve so writing to process and record my life was a well-established habit. Writing saved me during the trauma of betrayal and divorce. I could write things in my journal long before I could share them with friends or therapists. I have almost all my journals, more than 150 now, and they are a gold mine as I write memoir and personal essay. As I read the words, everything comes back: the smells, the feelings, the weather that day, and who was present.  I am transported deeply, viscerally into the moment again. Such a gift!

Post-Divorce Bliss: Ending Us and Finding Me is a new genre for me. Divorce was difficult and traumatic. I explored every possible coping and healing strategy but it took a long, long time to recover. I am dedicated to helping other women get through the experience easier and faster. This self-help book is my love letter to them, reassuring them that there is a beautiful new life waiting. My writing helped me process via the journaling and is now helping me pay it forward with this self-help book. The bonus is that I found I like writing self-help and have two more books planned. Plus I have essays out on submission and am revising my memoir. I love my writing ;-)

Q: If you could go back in time, what advice would you give 25-year-old Jude?

A: Ah, I would tell her it is okay to take care of herself. It is NOT required to take care of everyone else first. More than that, it is not a good plan because it will deplete her. And I would tell her it is okay to dream big, to dream HER dreams. I’d tell her to trust, love big, treasure the people who love her, and to practice gratitude every day.

Jude Walsh writes memoir, personal essay, fiction, and self-help. She has published at Mothers Always Write, Indiana Voice Journal, Flights Literary Magazine, The Manifest-Station, Literary Mama and The Feminine Collective. Her work appears in numerous anthologies including The AWW Collection (2014-2016), The Magic of Memoir: Inspiration for the Writing Journey (2016), Chicken Soup For the Soul: Inspiration for Teachers (2017), and Inside and Out: Women’s Truths, Women’s Stories (2017). She is the author of Post Divorce Bliss: Ending Us and Finding Me (2018). Jude lives in Dayton, Ohio with her son and three lively dogs. Learn more about her on her website, Judewalsh-writer.com.

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