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Leigh Newman Recommends...

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Posted 5.15.13

“I’m pretty much a workhorse. I write everyday whether I’m inspired or not. Getting started is never the problem; it’s getting finished. When I get stuck mid story or essay (a regular occurrence), I put on my running shoes and head out. I’m a terrible runner—awkward, slow, and sweaty. But I run my guts out, as fast as I can for a far as I can. During this very labored experience, I picture something from childhood: My dad used to practice bow and arrow in the backyard. He felt I had to know how to do this too, so I spent a not insignificant amount of Alaskan summer evenings trying to manage a compound bow sufficiently enough to hit a bullseye nailed to a bale of hay by the shed. As I run and run, that old childhood arrow shuttles though my mind and hits the target with a satisfying thunk. I have no idea what this daydream/memory does or what it cleans out, but usually when I come back to the story or essay, I have some idea that will permit me to avoid the boring, embarrassing path I was about to take before leaving the desk.”
—Leigh Newman, author of Still Points North (Dial Press, 2013)

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