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.

Sahar Mustafah


“Here’s an antidote for a writing slump: Record yourself reading a polished passage from your working draft. Go ahead—don’t be shy.

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C Pam Zhang


“I recommend soup, always, and especially now. It is comfort and it is excitement, both specific and universal.

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Afia Atakora


“Read. That’s the advice we give to writers, whether they’re young, or just starting out, or stymied by writer’s block.

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Mary South


“When I’m struggling with writing fiction, I turn to reading other forms: poetry or, most often, nonfiction that intensely investigates a topic unfamiliar to me. Research can be a way to take breaks while also feeling productive and enriched.

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Christopher Beha


“I do most of my writing longhand, in lined notebooks. One unquestionable benefit to this approach is that you can take a notebook anywhere, leaving laptop and phone behind, and when you get there your only options will be to write or to stare at a wall.

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George Abraham


“Marginalized writers are often taught to think our narratives are too messy, nonlinear, or cyclic under the gaze of western imagination—a mindset which naturally leads to trapping ourselves in our own heads.

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Emerson Whitney


“Writing is a best friend. I meet up with it every day thinking, hi, I love you. This meeting up might look like journaling or reading but it’s writing. And I think of this like a no matter what thing. Then, sometimes, I am surprised by my resistance to writing.

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Marianne Chan


“After my book was accepted for publication, I wanted to start a new project immediately. Over the past couple of years, I came up with several project ideas and tried to write poems that worked toward a theme or subject.

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Chelsea Bieker


“For me, often the origin of a new story or project begins with found documents. I have always been entranced by letters, journals, hastily jotted down reminders.

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Richard Z. Santos


“I know what I’m supposed to write: Get up early and write for two hours before the world rushes in. Yeah, right. Some prickly voice just piped up and tried to make me feel bad for not waking up at 4:00 AM so I could write for two or three hours before the baby wakes up.

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