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.

Sabina Murray


“With each book I’ve written, there has been a companion piece of music. I listen to the song or composition cycle through on repeat until I’m in a sort of hypnotic state. This keeps me inspired. Sometimes the music is classical. Sometimes it’s not.

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Mike Gayle


“We’re told that sitting is the new smoking. Well, I’m currently in the middle of a new book so I’m burning my way through several packs a day, Hemmingway style.

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Matthew Specktor


“I wouldn’t be the first writer to recommend this, I’m sure, but when I am stuck, I step away from my computer and pick up a pen.

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Doireann Ní Ghríofa


“Whenever my writing snarls itself into a tangle, I always take the same approach—I carry that horrible knot to bed and quench the lamp. Then, I wait. In the dark, my drowsy mind probes that tangle, whirling under it and around it, nudging and poking, tugging at any slack.

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Michael Kleber-Diggs


“Do you have a written work you return to over and over, knowing as you reread it, you’ll return to it again? Is there a poem or essay, an article or story that, for you, is like a psalm?

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Dana Spiotta


“When stuck, I pull out a big plastic bin full of paper I have collected, my brain’s own cabinet of curiosities. Every time I read the newspaper or find something of interest on the web, I cut or print it out.

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Jacqueline Jones LaMon


“When my writing stalls, it usually means that there is something that I need to write that I’ve chosen to avoid. I’ll do all the writerly things that one does in the thick of avoidance—read widely within and beyond my topic; indulge in craft books and actually do the exercises; go for walks with

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Eric Nguyen


“When I was writing my first novel, Things We Lost to the Water, I was a graduate student in Lake Charles, Louisiana. If a writing session wasn’t going the way I wanted, I went somewhere else.

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Nathan Harris


“My mother recently gave me two plants (Shel and Roald) as a gift. I didn’t particularly want them, as I don’t like tending to things. But here we are. I find them to be at once demanding and frustratingly sensitive.

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Moheb Soliman


“I will try to get to the point because I try to be outside always for dusk and it’s time.

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