Virginia Konchan Recommends...

“I am inspired to keep writing during times of inertia or busyness by remembering that writing is a way not just to talk back to, but to co-create the world. When I don’t write for a long period of time, my powers of observation might be heightened (as I’m typically reading or watching or listening to more art and media when not writing), but I find myself slightly more quiescent—more willing or able to accept the status quo, or moan about social ills while feeling powerless to ameliorate them. Many activities return me to this space of co-creation—of acceptance of my vocation, too. One of the three questions Jesuits ask about vocational discernment is ‘Does this bring you joy?’ My yoga and meditation practice help me realize that writing—however arduous and alienating a process at times—brings me great, if complicated, joy. Conversations with writer friends, podcasts, my writing group in Montreal, various art forms (Georges de La Tour’s painting The Penitent Magdalen, John Cassavetes’s films) and, of course, canonical and contemporary writers including, mostly recently, Sappho, Joan Murray, Diane Seuss, Victor Lodato, Nam Le, and Ottessa Moshfegh all make new worlds possible.”
—Virginia Konchan, author of The End of Spectacle (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2018)