Writers Recommend

In this online exclusive we ask authors to share books, art, music, writing prompts, films—anything and everything—that has inspired them in their writing. We see this as a place for writers to turn to for ideas that will help feed their creative process.

Christine Hume


Writing Everything I Never Wanted to Know almost entirely in the hellish eternity of the T%&*!

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Maria Dong


For me, writing often doesn’t feel that great; in the space between flashes of inspiration is me swearing at my manuscript and regretting my life choices. Struggle is normal, but when I have several difficult drafting days in a row, it means it’s time to step back and reassess.

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Emmanuel Iduma


I keep a Leica V-LUX 5 and an Olympus OM20 on my desk, and I use either camera depending on the extent to which I am in stasis with my writing.

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Michal ‘MJ’ Jones


It’s not clear in my memory which love came first—writing or music—but the pair are inextricably linked in a creative process which layers like melody and harmony.

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Kathryn Ma


Reading novels by the bucketload is why I became a writer, but it can be limiting when I’m trying to write. I live in danger of overanalyzing instead of feeling my way through the act of writing, down blind corridors that might lead to an undiscovered tomb or a passageway to the sea.

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Janine Joseph


In late 2008, I survived a traffic collision while stopped at a red light. I have no memory of that night, and spotty memories of my life before, though I know the accident—and traumatic brain injury I sustained—changed me and my writing process.

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Vanessa A. Bee


I have found that when I am uninspired or dissatisfied with a project’s structure, the key to unlocking my brain is almost always to consume great writing by other people. If I am feeling lucky, I reach out for whatever literary fiction is sitting on my nightstand.

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Janice Obuchowski


When writing, I can get lost in my thoughts, which feels metaphorically like darkness: I can’t see my way forward; I feel hemmed in. Most often, my answer is to get outside. I need the counterbalance of movement, light, open air.

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Ryan Lee Wong


For any writer who opens a blank document and feels a gnaw of anxiety or dread, maybe doubts whether to write at all, I recommend meditation. Zazen, the Zen Buddhist meditation I learned, means sitting there without expectations. This is perfect for writers.

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Zein El-Amine


The best advice about being stuck in your writing that I recall is the example that Ray Bradbury gave us: “If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every morning like Old Faithful.

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