“I think it was essential that I turn further inward, that I trust the ‘quieter’ poems.” —Zeina Hashem Beck, author of O
“Write because you want to, not to define yourself for the benefit of other people.” —Maya Marshall, author of All the Blood Involved in Love
“I was struck by the freedom of third person, how I could roam and jump and skip around, and cozy up to characters and then back away.” —Ottessa Moshfegh, author of Lapvona
“I wanted to write female friendship in a way that felt honest to me.” —Christine Kandic Torres, author of The Girls in Queens
“When you’re in that in-between stage, between starting something and gathering speed, a piece of chipped nail polish is the most riveting thing in the world.” —Sloane Crosley, author of Cult Classic
“I have to lock up my phone every day—in a box designed for locking up cookies—during the hours I’m writing. Text messages ruin me.” —Lydia Conklin, author of Rainbow Rainbow
“There are plenty of hard truths in Ma and Me that were difficult to put down on the page, and then there are other truths that are mine, and mine alone, to keep.” —Putsata Reang, author of Ma and Me
“If I had known about the twists and turns beforehand, I like to think I would have kept going, but maybe it’s better not to know.” —Vanessa Hua, author of Forbidden City
The author chose to share her memoir draft with family and friends and face their varied reactions to her recollection of the past—reactions which ultimately made the book richer.
For two weeks in June, more than 15,000 writers from around the world commit to writing a thousand words a day as part of the annual 1000 Words of Summer project.