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Writer Spotlight: Nate Methot

Earlier this month, The Write Stuff team welcomed Nate Methot who joined us for a chat about his writing experience, including how it began and ultimately led to the publication of his memoir, "A Life Derailed: My Journey with ALS."

Nate, a Vermont native, was diagnosed with ALS in 2011 at the age of 27. Although he had experience with some writing in school and at work, the idea of sitting in front of a screen for a prolonged period wasn't initially all that appealing. Once faced with limitations and the inability to engage in other activities due to his condition, he reconsidered.

"For me, writing began as a way to not be bored — to have something to do. Since I could no longer engage in many other activities, it became a way to help me feel like I had accomplished something," says Nate.

A few years into his ALS diagnosis, he began blogging, which then progressed to his decision to write a memoir.

"The [COVID-19] pandemic hit, and I was in the house doing nothing,” explains Nate. "My friend had been encouraging me to write a book, so I agreed to start writing to see how it goes.”

After some time, Nate’s book started to come together more and more.

"People ask me, how do you write a book?” says Nate. “I answer, you don't. You write in pieces and put the pieces together to create a book.”

Here are some other helpful writing tips that Nate shared with our team:

  • Just start writing. If nothing comes of this, at least you're putting thoughts down in writing. The primary purpose of any writing is to convey what’s in your head in the best way you can. You can go back to edit later.

  • Read more/Seek out examples. When Nate began writing his memoir, he felt it was important to read other memoirs. He took time to analyze the way the content was written; to understand the way punctuation was used; to grasp terminology; and to get a better feel of the style.

  • Step away if you get stuck. If you get writer’s block, walk away, work on something else and come back to it later.

  • Record ideas. Ideas for content can come at different times throughout the day, so it’s important to write your thoughts down so you can remember them.

  • Stay consistent. Have a routine. Write every day. It doesn’t have to be the same time or day but be consistent.

  • Don't worry so much about SEO. Tell your story. Give your perspective. Don’t worry about making sure you’re hitting the key words. Keep your flow going.

Although Nate doesn’t have any plans to write and publish another book, he continues to share his story on his blog and on social media.

The Write Stuff team thanks Nate for taking us through his writing journey and providing us with helpful tips and advice on writing. As our team member Juan said at the end of our chat with Nate, "I, for one, am thankful that you’re still around kicking ALS in the ass."

We all are, Nate!

Follow Nate on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.

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