Kelly Lydick interview with David Alan Binder

posted Feb 23, 2016, 6:18 AM by David Alan Binder   [ updated May 16, 2016, 6:30 AM ]

Kelly Lydick interview with David Alan Binder


Her bio:  Kelly Lydick received her B.A. in Writing and Literature from Burlington College, and her M.A. in Writing and Consciousness from the New College of California, San Francisco (now at CIIS). 

Her writing has appeared in ditch: poetry that matters, Shady Side Review, Switched-on Gutenberg, Mission at Tenth, Thema, Drunken Boat, Tarpaulin Sky, and others.

Her nonfiction articles have appeared in Java, Western Art Collector, Santa Fean, and True Blue Spirit magazines, as well as on the home page of Her work has also been featured on NPR’s The Writers’ Block.

She is the author of the chapbook We Once Were, and the experimental work, Mastering the Dream.  She writes about all things art, writing, and the metaphysical on her blog, Everything is Connected.

In addition, Kelly holds professional certifications as a Meditation Facilitator, Past Life Healer, and Gateway Dreaming™ Coach.  She teaches writing and metaphysical workshops throughout the United States, and offers private consultations through her company Waking the Dream. Her three-track meditation and chakra alignment audio journey, Aperture, is available via her website.

Website: to order signed copies of Mastering the Dream.


The blog can be reached via the website as well.



1.     How do you pronounce your name? 


Kelly Lydick (Lie-Dick)


2.     Where are you currently living?


Phoenix, Arizona


3.     When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?


One of the coolest books I have ever read is Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. I first read this book in the 7th grade and was completely mesmerized by the imagery. To this day, it’s as vivid as if I had read it yesterday. Although I had been an avid reader since I was able, it was my first experience in which I felt transformed after finishing the book through to the end. It was that experience that has remained with me al my life, and what made me want to write. I thought it was absolutely amazing that language had that kind of power.


4.     What is your work schedule like when you're writing?


When I’m writing I’m totally self-absorbed in my work, and the outside world ceases to exist. This is the most interesting paradox about writing, I think. I do well in large chunks of time—days on end when I’m not interrupted by outside things. I will be the first to admit that daily life tasks typically come to a grinding halt when I’m in a working period. Dishes do not get done, mail does not get checked, the phone does not get answered. It’s as if any outside stimulus has the power to distract in such a way that the creative flow is broken, which can lead to stumbling blocks in a project’s progression.


Writing on deadline for a monthly magazine helped me to learn how to turn the muse “on” and “off” which is an amazingly valuable skill to have.


What I would like to do with my writing process next is be able to dip right into a project in smaller chunks of time and still be as productive as when I’m working in long sessions. I’m still working on that skill…


5.     Did you self-publish or have a publisher?


a.     If publisher, who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?


My publisher is Second Story Books and they are located in Oakland, California.


6.     Do you have any feelings about eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?


This is an interesting question, and relevant to the evolving book marketplace. I have published traditionally, and have worked for more than a decade in editorial in a traditional setting.  There are pros and cons to both conventional and self-publishing.


With self-publishing came the democratization of the market, which was good in the sense that it would often be difficult for new writers to be recognized. On the other hand, with the growth in the industry in self-publishing, has come both the opportunity for good new writers to be recognized, but also a lack of gatekeeping.


Right now, I believe all authors are navigating a saturated market, which makes it difficult for everyone to stand out. In some ways it’s ever more competitive, with an added layer of complication of the accessibility of free content on the Internet.


I do see that the best quality writing is getting attention and being well-recognized. In total, I think I’m about 70% traditionalist, 30% in favor of self-publishing.


Studies are now showing that readership still prefers hard copy books to eBooks, although the eBook market is huge. Early predictions that eBooks would tank the print industry just didn’t come true. I’m one of the folks that still favors print copies—I don’t personally own an eReader.


7.     Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

A lot of my inspiration, perhaps not surprisingly, comes from my dreams. I am a Certified Gateway Dreaming Coach, and decided to be certified after many, many years of working with my dreams. Dreams are not only the gateway to the collective unconscious, they can reveal subconscious material and can provide an opening to other planes of awareness.

Other inspiration usually comes from the feeling of experiencing something. It’s the poignant moments in life that seem to want to be held in infinitude, recorded for the sake of memorializing, and recognized as meaningful.

8.     Any tips for writers that you may have?

The best advice I can give a new or aspiring writer is to stay true to the authentic voice that lives inside. It’s this unique voice that has the most profound messages for readers, and makes the best writing. Don’t try too hard to emulate any one particular writer. Read, and learn to make use of observational faculties without compromising personal style.

Know that a mature writer’s voice comes with maturity in life experience. Look forward to personal growth because that can be part of the best foundation for great writing.

9.     What do you like to do when you're not writing?

When I’m not writing, I love spending time with family and friends. I’m also kind of a foodie, so I like to go to restaurants and enjoy time with loved ones in that type of setting—over a good meal and fabulous dessert. I also love hiking, yoga, film, meditation, and travel.

10.                        Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer? 


I’m a believer in life-long education. If not for reading, classes, and workshops, life is the best teacher of writing. To me, to write, means to observe, and to communicate what is observed. It also means to experience, and communicate what is experienced. It is both an introverted and extroverted practice. Becoming a better writer, I have always believed, is intimately intertwined with life experience and self-reflection. Growing as a person while meeting life circumstances in the most open authentic way provides the best material possible. To be able to communicate these things honestly and precisely—whether in the context of fiction or non-fiction—is the best foundation for writing. And the best part about it is that as a person changes and grows, so too can their writing.



11.                        What do you think makes a good story?

I think there can be many things that make a story good—and a lot of that depends on the audience and how the story is received. I believe that the right stories often come to us at the right times—I am a believer in synchronicity—and I think that readers derive the most meaning when these important stories show up when they are supposed to. What becomes a good story then, is something that has the power to compel, to transform, to inspire, and to make readers think and feel.

12.                        As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

As a child I wanted to be many things—none of which included the title writer. The list included surgeon, special effects technician for motion pictures, make-up artist, astronaut, perfumer, chef, and singer and actress. It’s funny to think about this because alongside all of these other creative possibilities, I was constantly writing and creating and reading stories. I think that even when we have an idea of what we want in life, destiny propels us in a way that is more powerful than the conscious mind—and destiny is infinitely wiser.

13.                        If you write more than one field or genre, how do you balance them?


I do find myself writing in multiple genres and formats. I have written and published poetry, fiction and nonfiction articles for print and online magazines. I find that when I am inspired to write about a specific topic, I just begin without thinking about where the writing is going to end up—where it will be published. I think that concentrating too much on the end result distracts from the authenticity of the message.


Balancing each genre or type of writing just comes naturally out of the type of content and subject matter. When I’m done with a piece, then I start to think about where I would like to see the work, and go from there.


14.                        What inspires you? 



I’m inspired a lot by visual art—painting, drawing, mixed media. I’m also inspired by human kindness, the triumph of the human spirit, environmental activism, and, especially, being in nature. Amazing writing by other writers, adventure (close to home and far away), and spiritualism also top the list.

15.                        Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? 


Some of the most influential writers I’ve encountered include Ray Bradbury, as mentioned earlier, Alice Hoffman, Paul Celan, Joy Harjo, Nick Flynn, Kurt Vonnegut, Gary Zukav, Audrey Niffenegger, Pablo Neruda, Jorge Luis Borges, and, of course, the transcendentalists Emerson and Thoreau.


16.                        Are you a full-time or part-time writer?


I divide my time between writing, editing, and personal consulting in dream work and metaphysics. I also teach workshops in creative writing, dream work, and meditation.


17.                        What are some day jobs that you have held? 


I had many different jobs before I became a writer, editor, and consultant. I have been a grocery store bagger, catering assistant, pharmacy technician, and private tutor. I have also taught in the middle grades and at the undergraduate college level.


18.                        Did any of them impact your writing?


The jobs unrelated to creative writing and education were the building blocks to my writing career. They each taught me different things about discipline, hard work, perseverance, and keeping my butt in the chair even on difficult days when I’d rather be doing something else.


19.                        What do you like to read in your free time?


In my free time I love to read poetry, good magazines like Tiferet, Poetry, and The Sun. I also read a lot of fiction and nonfiction.

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