Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘writing regimens’

Interviews |

Woman to Woman: An Interview with Mary Gaitskill

From the Archives: Emily McLaughlin converses and laughs with author Mary Gaitskill, a fellow University of Michigan alum, on her visit to Ann Arbor. Gaitskill opens up about writing as a woman in 2011, her take on her own characters, writing sex, publishing her first stories, and lasting fifty years.

Shop Talk |

Earn your internet access—by writing

Writers are full of tricks to get themselves to actually WRITE. We’ve covered a lot of them here on FWR: positive reinforcement (with tools like Written? Kitten!, which rewards you with photos of cute cats), fear (with apps like Write or Die, which plays annoying noises—or deletes your work!—if you stop writing), and flat-out self-blackmail. Here’s yet another addition to your arsenal, O Writer In Need Of Motivation. A new program, Blockr, lets you set goals and blocks you from the internet until you’ve completed them. Says the Blockr site: Today, the sirens we face are glowing rectangles. As Odysseus […]

Shop Talk |

No fellowship? Make your own.

So maybe you didn’t into MacDowell this year, or Bread Loaf, or [insert highly desired writer’s conference, residency, or program here]. You’ve got two options: Sit and mope. Make your own. Two fiction teachers from Boston’s Grub Street, Adam Stumacher and Jenn De Leon, describe how they decided to craft their own “writing fellowship”—and managed to write for an entire year: One afternoon last fall, we looked at each other over a kitchen table cluttered with self-addressed stamped envelopes and statements of purpose, and we reached a decision. This year, we were not going to wait for permission. This year, […]

Shop Talk |

Maybe just one more cup…

I know few writers who need another reason for another cup of coffee. But if you need more convincing, how about your health? The reasoning isn’t yet understood, but it’s possible that coffee has health benefits beyond the mental satisfaction of finishing that chapter. This week, the New York Times Wellness blog cited researchers at the National Cancer Institute who have found a correlation between increased coffee intake and decreased risk of colon cancer.  LiveScience also wrote this week about the possibility that drinking coffee could “reduce the risk of basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer.” […]

Shop Talk |

Snacks of Great Writers

I think deep down, every writer believes that there’s some magic formula for inspiration. Get the right time of day, the right location, the right kind of pen, even the right sitting or lying position, and bing! Writing Happens. But for some writers, food is part of the magic formula. One of my writing teachers used to swear by Cherry Coke—and wouldn’t drink it unless she was writing, for fear of using up the magic. For me? Red candy: Swedish fish are best, but Twizzlers will do in a pinch. To that end, artist Wendy MacNaughton provides this illustrated guide […]

Shop Talk |

When procrastination is good for you

Maybe it’s just the time of year—has anyone ever finished a project during the holiday season? Ever? In the history of time? But I’ve been doing some quality procrastination lately. But maybe that’s not such a bad thing. On Monday, we talked about Mark Frauenfelder’s suggestion that being creative outside of your field can help you be more creative in your field. Now here are two other posts to make you feel less bad about procrastination—and maybe even make it helpful. Both are from Grub Street’s excellent blog, the Grub Street Daily. First, Katrin Schumann discusses the value of “cross-pollination” […]

Shop Talk |

Whittle a spoon, write more?

If you’re not a geek (and I use that term as a positive term), you may not know who Mark Frauenfelder is.  But you need not be a geek to learn from his recent post on LifeHacker.  Frauenfelder is editor of DIY-geek-tech MAKE Magazine, and two of his tips on accomplishing more in the day are useful to creative writers, too. The first is a time-honored writing trick—he talks about going into “Robot Mode” when running down his to-do list: I don’t think about how many items are on the list or how many I have left to accomplish. I […]

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"I can't go on. I'll go on": Writing when you're sure you can't

So November is halfway over–you’re half done writing your novel for NaNaoWriMo, right? Right? Whether you’re doing NaNoWriMo or not, there are always those days–or weeks, or months, or, let’s face it, years–when you just feel like you Cannot. Write. Anything. I don’t claim these are foolproof solutions, but here are my own personal tips to get started working again. 1. A journey of a thousand pages begins with opening your document. Maybe it’s just me–but 90% of the time, just opening up the right file seems like a big step. I find a million other places to click: Facebook, […]

Shop Talk |

Write Place, Write Time

Write Place, Write Time offers a peek into different writers’ workspaces. Above, the writing spot of novelist Heidi Durrow. Here’s the ridiculously cool workspace of writer Alan Heathcock (seriously, I can’t believe this exists–read the whole post; I promise it’s worth it): Heathcock writes: My writing studio is a 1967 Roadrunner travel trailer that for most of its life was an Idaho State Police surveillance vehicle, and is now packed with books and trophies and random oddities. Inside, there’s old beautiful wood paneling, which smells like woods and feels like wood and feels cozy and connects me with reality. […] […]