I have read so many excellent essays, articles, and blogs lately that I decided to give you the links. (And it gives me a day off from blogging.)
1. In The Wall Street Journal, poet Deborah Landau writes about the importance of collaboration for writers.
Writing involves hours of solitary work, and connection to others can be a lifeline. The poets Anne Sexton and Maxine Kumin had special phones installed so they could keep the line open to consult one another while writing. Now email makes connecting easier. I once joined a group of poets pledging to write a poem every day for a month. The pressure to be productive was intense and energizing; many poems written as part of that exercise ended up in my second book.”
2. In the New York Times Book Review, Meg Wolitzer considers gender discrimination in publishing. Novelists Martha Southgate (The Millions) and Jennifer Weiner (her blog) have also written excellent essays on this gender issue. Why read the NYT one? Wolitzer has a slightly snottier tone, as we would expect from a satirist, and quotes other writers of literary fiction. (I recommend Wolitzer’s novel The Uncoupling.)
3. In The Guardian, Will Self’s “Walking is Political” analyzes the historical and political meaning of walking. (Get on out there.)
4. In Reading Copy, Scott Laming writes about illegitimacy in literature.
5. Rob at The Fiction Desk tells you why you shouldn’t begin a short story with a quote.