Author Q & A with Lynne Golodner
March 30, 2022
This week’s Author Q&A is with Lynne Golodner. Lynne lives in Huntington Woods, Michigan with her husband and four teens and works as a writing coach and professor. She has an MFA in Poetry from Goddard College, hosts the Make Meaning Podcast, and is the author of eight books and thousands of articles. Her nonfiction essay “Swimming: A Meditation” was featured in our Winter 2022 issue.
We asked Lynne to tell us some unique or surprising detail about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of her essay and share something it taught her.
Her response: “The idea for this piece first came to me when I was swimming (obviously) and just noticing its effect on me. I’d arrive at the pool stressed or anxious or in a hurry and everything would float away (literally!) in the process of my swim. I’ve been swimming for years and wanted to write about it but wasn’t sure about the focus of the story. At one point, it even focused on how the men in adjacent lanes would take up more room than the women and I thought I’d write about how sexism plays out in the pool (so glad I didn’t!).
“I really love this piece because it evolved over time, and what I think is so strong about it is the attention to detail. Since I am in the pool at least 3 times a week, I pay attention and notice little details and collect them, which makes writing really come to life.”
We asked Lynne what fuels her desire to write and also what the most satisfying part of the artistic process is.
Her response: “Writing is how I make sense of the world. It’s how I figure out what I believe and what I think about situations. It’s how I gain clarity in my own thinking. I love examining experiences and memories to see what lies beneath and threads through them. And in the process, I learn a lot about myself.
“I get the most satisfaction from playing with the words. I love the revision process when I can go sentence by sentence and examine the words to determine if I can find a stronger, more active verb, or more interesting detail.”
We then asked about the flip side of this and for her to share some challenging part of the process?
Her response: “Endings and titles, for sure. When I have a clear line of inquiry, I have no trouble with either one. But most of the time, I vaguely know what I want to write about and so much of the process is narrowing my focus and clarifying what I really want to say.”
We asked Lynne if she has any upcoming projects to share and she let us know that she’s leading a Writers Retreat on Mackinac Island in northern Michigan in September. At the time of our Q&A, there were a couple of spots left. Info for this retreat is at:
We know that many people have missed writing retreats and also community gatherings during the long months of the pandemic so it is wonderful to plan and have these kinds of events to look forward to. We asked Lynne how the Pandemic affected her writing life.
Her response: “It helped clarify what is essential in my life. So many things fell away and it turns out, I didn’t miss them! I devoted an hour a day to writing, and then two, and some days, that’s all I do. I started teaching writing for adults online and have developed quite a healthy community of writers in the past few years. I came back to what I love to do, and to myself.”
As we continue to ask that question, we have noticed that this is a trend among our writer friends–that so many folks found more time to write and developed stronger daily habits. It seems like a bright spot among so much hardship that people have endured during this time. Another bright spot is always hearing what our contributors have to say about “The Good Life.”
Here’s what Lynne had to say about it: “Quiet time. People I love. Listening to the trees in the forest. Breathing in crisp cool air. Watching a fat robin alight on a branch outside my window that is dusted by snow. Being by water – lakes and rivers and oceans – and listening to its soothing swell. Having enough. Being enough.”
This does, indeed, sound like a good life. Thank you, Lynne, for participating in our Q&A and being open to sharing more about yourself and your artistic processes. We are grateful that you gave us the opportunity to publish your words!!
~The Good Life Review Team