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.

Jhani Randhawa


When I become stuck in my writing (which is to say, almost every time I try to get something onto the page), I often consider where else I experience stuck-ness and what sensations emerge in my body. Today, I am thinking about rock climbing.

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Diana Goetsch


All writers must engage in two major activities—composing and revising—and I’ve never met a writer who didn’t greatly favor one over the other. I love revising, which I can engage in anytime, anywhere.

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Nishant Batsha


Yukio Mishima was one of the most complicated and fraught figures in twentieth-century literature, and his sophomore novel, Confessions of a Mask, published in 1949, remains a classic.

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Naheed Phiroze Patel


I believe I became a writer when, at the age of fifteen, after staying up all night reading Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, I glanced at the acknowledgements page and saw that she’d thanked somebody who had the same unusual name as mine.

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Shelley Wong


To escape the net, I need to dance it out—to return to my body and its elated improvisation. With my first book, As She Appears, it was a careful writing and, at times, a difficult one.

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Jackson Bliss


I rarely get stuck in my writing and that’s not a flex. I just make sure to have a bunch of options at my disposal. For one thing, I work on multiple manuscripts at the same time so I’ll always have several books I can jump into, which helps demystify the singular artifact.

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John Elizabeth Stintzi


I often find, while stuck in the mire of a book—when progress feels stalled—the best thing I can do is to teleport through space and time to a different part of the story.

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DaMaris B. Hill


In hip-hop there is something called a cypher. A cypher is a circle of emcees. There they “spit” or perform their best rhymes in a highly competitive and supportive atmosphere. According to the emcee Rakim from the group Erik B.

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Leslie Kirk Campbell


I remember the dramatic moments that nearly stopped me as I wrote my first story collection. After a tough manuscript review with a top-notch editor, I dove, seemingly irretrievably, into deep despair. I lost belief in myself. I mean, it was bad. Days dragged into weeks, my desk uninhabited.

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Isaac Fellman


When I’m slightly stuck in my writing, I do the dishes; when I’m medium stuck, I think of life’s terrible brevity; when I’m very stuck, I write fanfiction. Writer’s block comes from so many places. As a young person, I thought that it was just an excuse people made.

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