The Writing Life: Jami Attenberg Gives Us A Peek At Their Practice

The Writing Life: Jami Attenberg Gives Us A Peek At Their Practice


A New Yok Times bestselling author of seven guides of fiction and the memoir I Came All This Way to Meet up with You, Jami Attenberg dealt with a complicated deadline in 2018 by building a pact with a close friend to produce 1,000 terms every single working day for two months. The experiment proved so prosperous that she started sharing about it online, inspiring hundreds of fellow writers to blast by means of their very own blocks and unite close to the hashtag #1000WordsOfSummer. Now, Attenberg has remodeled her viral movement into a self-aid information, 1000 Words: A Writer’s Tutorial to Keeping Resourceful, Concentrated, and Successful All Year Round, out January 9. We asked this motivational maven to give us some perception into how she tends to make her have creating plan do the job, no issue what she’s attempting to get completed. 

Your most recent e-book, 1000 Phrases, is a guidebook for writers. Did your work habits transform as you shifted from crafting novels and a memoir to self-enable?

I am a glutton for punishment, so I ongoing to compose fiction facet-by-side while I was functioning on 1000 Words and phrases—I really have a novel coming out later in 2024. The obstacle was switching back and forth in between the two and sustaining momentum in both of those. I finished up creating a couple weeks in a row on one project, hitting whatsoever milestone popped up, and then switching to the other. It was actually the hardest year of do the job in my lifestyle. But my technique for acquiring a great day’s work finished did not adjust.

Do you prefer to compose longhand or to form? What kind of application, pens, and notebooks do you appreciate?

When I’m generating new function, I tend to produce longhand initially, then sort it all up later on. I use Microsoft Phrase and I expend much too substantially on notebooks and pens. Lately I’ve been into Muji and Kokuyo notebooks and Uniball Signo and Pilot G2 pens. 

How lots of hrs a day do you produce when you’re working on a e-book? What does your writing schedule look like?

I ordinarily do the job an 8-hour working day. Currently, I have experimented with to do the job just 5 days a week. That does not necessarily have to be the common Monday by way of Friday, but I really do not want to melt away out. It is a position, like any other career, so why need to I have to operate additional than that? My days roll like this: I take long walks first matter, normally for at the very least an hour, to crystal clear my head and toss around strategies. Then I normally handwrite for a few hrs and style factors up in the afternoon. The intention, clearly, is 1,000 phrases a day. I also involve examining as component of the procedure, and I try out to do that for at least an hour. I get up tremendous early and try to be carried out with my workday by midafternoon so I can continue to appreciate some of the day.

Where is your preferred composing place?

I have an workplace in the rear of my house [in New Orleans]. It appears to be out more than my back again porch and overgrown yard and usually my pet dog sits out there although I perform and suns himself. I also like to handwrite in cafés, at times early in the morning. It’s pleasant to be reminded there’s a entire world out there with actual individuals in it, way too.

Do you hear to tunes whilst doing the job?

I pay attention to new music without having terms or that is sung in international languages I really do not understand so I cannot be distracted. I love this Substack, Movement State, which sends out tips for purely instrumental albums each and every day. The new music of Julius Eastman was likely my favorite discovery of the past couple of years.

What do you like to use when producing?

If I’m working from residence, I just don unfastened-fitting apparel. It is scorching in New Orleans so I’m just attempting to continue to be cool. If I go to a café, I dress up a very little due to the fact it can make me experience like I’m going to get the job done and am however in some way a citizen of the entire world. I get pretty psyched to dress in amazing lipstick. Occasionally I just need to really feel a minor sweet.