It’s hard sometimes to catch up to the great wave of writers out there– they move through notebooks, pens, laptops, and reference sources without taking a breath. I am one of them, and I have to admit that it helps to have a few inviting elements on hand to convince me when it’s time to write and when it’s time to read. And it’s the winter. In the winter, I need some help.
I need Solid Inspiration100 Years of the Best American Short Stories came out in October. I’m stoked. You can hear an interview with the editor about this in part, and about her own book on the podcast Othr Ppl with Brad Listi here. Such a great inside viewpoint.
I’m guessing that a lot of people will be frustrated with which stories were chosen here, but I’m a fan of the series and they have chosen authors of varying backgrounds, which is a nice choice. Really, you can’t please everyone. In addition, it’s fantastic that there seems to be an evident rise in short story popularity at the moment according to the New York Times.
Of course, there are always writing instructional books out there, and they can be hit or miss– choosing one that works with you can be a tricky affair. I am impressed with Linda Lappin’s The Soul of Place, for one. The tone here is lovely and explorative. I am fond of any book that asks me to become an eyeball. This is a very exercise-oriented book, so be prepared to follow instructions and check out further reading in this one. It’s a nice option to have.
I need Connection to the world
It’s time to get a subscription. I have personally found no other journal that inspires me like One Story does– you get one short story in the mail every three weeks. Their story choices are always compelling and vary in style and form as well. This little publication is fantastic and makes me very happy every three weeks.
But, of course, there are many journals out there, and it’s a bit unfair to depend on such a classic like One Story. The best way to feel connected to writing, by all means, is to read.
Check out some online accessible digital lovelies out there that don’t require subscription, like
Pank — after new editors came through in 2016, Pank is fighting the good fight onward
Guernica— I am consistently impressed by the quality of their choices.
What’s interesting about these journals is that many people compliment them, but rarely actually read them thoroughly. Readership is how we justify such publications, so go out and enjoy their amazing and accessible content.
Finally, I need constantly available Blank Space to Fill
I’m in love right now with my Rhodia Wire Pad for journaling. I’m not sure if it’s the size, the location of the wire binding, or the fact that the color of the cover helps me keep track of it, but I am consistently happy with this one. Honestly, though, I have to constantly move through notebook forms. Rhodia is lovely now, but I will move on pretty soon to something different that will keep me on my toes.
I’ve heard others get excited about white lines notebooks like this one. People rave about the lines being kind on their eyes, though I haven’t tried it yet.
Sometimes, a little gift to yourself can get you out of a winter-writing slump. Try out something new– Of course, I have some pretty specific preference here. What else should be on this list?