Gwen Tuinman




How Long I Write Each Day

People often ask, how long I write each day. I stare above their head, then hem and haw as if grappling with a physics calculation. My brows shrug; my mouth purses. How long indeed?

I try to quantify how many hours I spend daily hunkered over the computer keyboard. Surely this is the writing they want to know about. But my answer changes day to day, depending on where I am in the creative loop.

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And Then He Said . . .

This past week, I listened to a podcast in which an award-winning author was interviewed about her writing life and most recent publication. She’s received critical acclaim for four New York Times bestselling novels and two short story collections. In short, she’s a force. Her rapport with the podcast host was energetic and his questions yielded rich content.

After a lengthy conversation, the author commented with surprise on the time. She needed to pick up her child from school. How sweet. How human.

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The Writer’s Quandry: Immersion vs Seclusion

A writer’s life involves a delicate balance between immersion and seclusion. We must be of the world to discover events and locales for exploration, to stimulate curiosity, to develop observations and empathy. In the chaos and trauma of everyday life, we learn what it is to be human. Our writing is not restricted to solely the inspiration of our own lives. Otherwise, we’d each write one or two books, perhaps a handful of poems, and be spent. The experiences of loved ones and complete strangers also inform our creations.

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