“There must be a cat. It must purr constantly.” Writers often have odd routines before they start writing. At McSweeney’s, John Babbott gives his outrageous demands. Pair with: Our piece on our quirky writing habitats and habits.
"The only way to get something new out of language, to try and get to what feels like the nearest simulacrum of truth, is to bend and shape that language, to break it’s form and strain against it, to coax it into a shape, to play with it. To revel in the disorderly." Madeleine Watts writes about Eimear McBride's A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing (which our own Hannah Gersen recently reviewed), the limits of language and the necessity of a "Girl Canon" for The Believer's blog.
We give up a book for many reasons: it was too long, the writing was dull, it was written by E.L. James. Goodreads has charted just when and why we abandon books. Catch-22 is the number one abandoned book. (Confession: I didn't finish it either.) Also, see our article on the pressures of finishing novels in the age of literary social media.
Even if you've already seen the outstanding documentary Wordplay, you'll still want to check out this Atlantic article on how Will Shortz makes his New York Times crossword puzzles.