• Q&A With WriteByNight Consultant Elizabeth Merck

     

    Elizabeth Merck (Northern Virginia) is a writer, editor, blogger, amateur concert photographer, and poet. For more than twenty years, she worked in the nonprofit sector, using storytelling to raise money for a variety of causes. From there, she began to freelance, writing celebrity news articles for TheThings.com and creating content for websites. Before joining WriteByNight, Liz spent several years as a deputy editor at Write My Wrongs Co. In January 2002, she opened her own freelance editing business. She has a BA in psychology from Marymount University and an MBA in nonprofit management from Walden University. She’s currently working on her first contemporary fiction novel titled Jameson Heights. To learn more about Liz and her work, visit her website.

     

    Where are you from?

    I was born in Boston, Massachusetts, but I’ve been living in Northern Virginia since 1996.

     

    Where did you study?

    I have a BA in psychology from Marymount University in Arlington, VA. I attended the Catholic University of America for a year in pursuit of my MSW, but I ultimately decided social work wasn’t for me. I finished an MBA in nonprofit management instead at Walden University.

     

    How did you get your start as a writer?

    I have always loved to write. In high school, I was involved in the creative writing club and literary magazine. I also took a journalism class with Boston Globe and Boston Herald columnist Beverly Beckham. In college, I had various poems and song lyrics published in anthologies, and I contributed to the literary magazine there. After graduation, I spent more than twenty years in the nonprofit sector, using storytelling to raise money for a variety of philanthropic causes. In 2021, I left the stressful nonprofit world behind to focus solely on my passions for writing and editing. I worked as a deputy editor at Write My Wrongs Co for several years. I also wrote celebrity news articles for TheThings.com and did some content writing for websites. In January 2022, I opened my own freelance editing business, and I’m finishing up my first women’s fiction novel in my spare time.

     

    Who are some of your influences?

    The people who have influenced me most in life have all been teachers or faculty. I was an introverted but highly creative kid, and without the support and encouragement of a few select people in my life, I wouldn’t be as successful today. They are Sister Anna Regina, my third-grade teacher; Kerry Cronin, my eighth-grade teacher; Paul Scavotto, my high school English teacher; John Shuster, my high school theatre director; and Boyd Hagy, my college English professor. They all empowered me to follow my dreams and never stop creating.

     

    What is your favorite thing about educating writers at WBN?

    When a client tells me I helped make them a better writer, it’s the best feeling in the world.

     

    What is the hardest part of writing for you?

     Finding the time can be difficult. During the day, I’m mostly focused on helping other authors on their paths to publication. At night, I focus on my own work (when I’m not too tired!).

     

    What’s the last movie you saw that was based on a book and how was it?

    I recently watched Beautiful Boy, which is a fantastic film about a young man fighting addiction to methamphetamines. It stars Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell. While I usually always read the book first, I didn’t in this case. However, I just ordered Tweak by Nic Sheff, the book the movie is based on, and I look forward to reading it.

     

    Any words of wisdom for aspiring writers?

    Don’t let your fear of failure hold you back. If you have a story, it’s uniquely yours, and you should write it. There are plenty of people out there waiting in the wings to support you and help you achieve your dream.

     

    Interested in working with Elizabeth? Request a free consult now