Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi Recommends...

“When I get stuck, I presume that my body is telling me to take a break. When I push myself, I end up hating everything to do with reading or writing. This is permission to put everything away and have fun; isn’t it? To replenish the mind, I hit the nightclubs and dance myself dizzy. I eat out, go to cinemas at ten in the morning on weekdays, I go shopping, and sometimes I jump on the train from Manchester to Edinburgh just to stare at the hills and sheep in the countryside. I spend hours at the swimming pool, sauna, and steam room. The beauty of my writer’s block is the absence of guilt. After all, it implies that I have been working too much. It can last from two weeks up to three months. When it lifts, I get back into writing by reading and editing the chapters I had already written. This allows for a gentle easing back into the story and reignites my trend of thought, slowly, until I am back into the rhythm. Unlike most people, I embrace the writer’s block. I look forward to it and when it comes, I exploit it.”
—Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, author of A Girl Is a Body of Water (Tin House Books, 2020)