At Poets & Writers, Sarah Gerard, author of True Love, offers a suggestion for a small act of creation that can set your mind in order during moments of turmoil. “To reanimate my practice, get out of a turbid state, I reach into the deepest corner of my hard drive to extract the oldest piece of unpolished ore—the earliest unfinished essay or short story I can find,” Gerard says. “I look for something that represents my most elemental attempt at self-expression. This is especially rewarding in the middle of a long project, such as a novel, when it’s necessary for a short period to emerge from underground and clear my mind. I give myself the task of finishing something in a short period of time: a day, at most a week. It’s easier if I have a ready-made starting place, like a rough draft.”
After earning herself a “test run” writer’s residency aboard an Amtrak train, Jessica Gross reflects on the virtues and benefits of writing by railcar. Meanwhile, Alexander Chee announces he’ll be writing on the rails from New York City to Portland this Spring. You can read some more information about the program over here.