Sara Goudarzi Recommends...

When caught in the tangles of a creative dead end, I resort to the time-tested act of walking. Our bodies are built in such a way that we’re very efficient at walking, allowing most of us to not actively think about how to put one foot in front of the other. Leaving my brain alone, while wandering the streets or looping the neighborhood park, lets me find solutions when least expected. Getting away from the microcosm that’s my apartment and observing the moving outside world can be nourishing in ways I might not understand in the moment but will prove rewarding when I get back to my desk.

I also read, both for problem-solving and for inspiration, and at times turn to poetry and science in an effort to readjust my gaze when writing fiction. Further, having both the hindrance and benefit of a mother tongue that’s not English can lead me to places I didn’t expect, but am often happy to find myself in. To arrive there I’ll leaf through Persian poetry, especially works by poets who evoke strong visuals like Sohrab Sepehri, or refer to a book of sayings in Farsi. Other art forms—painting, photography, film, and music (particularly by Bach, Chopin, and Andrew Bird)—can also help get me out of a creative rut.
—Sara Goudarzi, author of The Almond in the Apricot (Deep Vellum, 2022) 

Photo credit: Anthony Rhoades