Mateo Askaripour Recommends...

“For me, the key to staying inspired enough to come to the page with energy, confidence, and focus is all about my routine, as well as knowing when to break it. Before I go to sleep, I tell myself I’m going to write the next day, so that when I wake up, there’s no question about it. It’s going to happen. In the morning, I meditate, allowing my mind and body to gently enter the new day. Then there’s the normal hygiene stuff, and breakfast, which is the same every day that I’m writing—a waffle with a side of orange juice. Do I sound like a psychopath? I don’t know, let’s keep going. After breakfast, I prepare my stimulant of choice: yerba maté. It supercharges my mind, opens up my spirit, and grounds me in a centuries-old tradition. And then, it’s a mix of watching well-made music videos and movie trailers on YouTube for a couple hours, some dancing to get the blood flowing, and flipping through an inspiration folder—photos of artists I admire and whom I believe my work is in conversation with—before bringing my fingers to the keys. However, there are moments when my routine fails me, and I need to leave my workspace in search of answers to questions of plot, character, and intention. It’s then that I go into nature, and there, without fail, that I find everything I’m looking for, as if it was waiting for me the entire time.”
—Mateo Askaripour, author of Black Buck (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021)