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.

Amitava Kumar


“I read an interview with the writer and journalist Lawrence Wright around ten, perhaps fifteen, years ago. Wright was asked what he did when he got ‘knotted up’ during the day, and he said that he would go for a run.

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Natashia Deón


“I tell my creative writing students this: No one can write the story you have inside of you. No one.

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José Vadi


“Let’s agree writing is one of many creative art forms, and that everything—from the way someone crosses the street, twirls their hair, rides a subway—can be described as an art. That said, when I’m in a rut I like to get uncomfortable.

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fahima ife


“The thing I need to do escapes me. Sit still and write. Get up and move. Prepare the meal and eat it. Consider sentences. Write sentences. Shatter sentences. Live inside an orifice wet with silver. Eliminate caffeine. See acupuncturist. Make a list of gratitude. Sit in the black morning.

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Ana Castillo


“A few years ago, after decades of vigorously producing books in various genres, I lost all desire to write. My first creative passion was drawing and when silence took over, I began filling up notebooks and drawing pads with line drawings.

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James Tate Hill


“After losing my sight, I found comfort in my favorite movies, ones I had seen so many times I remembered the pictures that accompanied voices and soundscapes. Returning to Rain Man, Stand By Me, and Jaws with only my ears, I was surprised how much of each story remained intact.

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Nawaaz Ahmed


“For almost the entire period of the ten years I worked on my debut novel, Radiant Fugitives, my writing sessions have started the same way, listening to the same piece of music: ‘Libertango’ by Argentine composer As

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Fred D’Aguiar


“When I get stuck in my writing, I walk away from it. I write while standing at my desk, so all I do is turn on my heels and leave. Sometimes, I perform my departure from my desk. I tiptoe or do a mock walk of disdain, or mimic RuPaul on a catwalk (as if I could!).

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Kia Corthron


“When I initially considered the question of what it is I do when I feel stuck in my writing, I felt stuck. Do I ever hit a wall? Then I remembered: all the time! It’s just that my tricks to overcome sudden inertia are now so ingrained that I usually forget I’m in a temporary slump.

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David Hoon Kim


“In the past, when things blocked up, I would go out and take a walk around the neighborhood, following familiar streets or ones less familiar and ending up at some unexpected corner.

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