How Margaret Atwood Writes

Rebecca Mead has posted a profile of Margaret Atwood in The New Yorker, recognising the increasing relevance of her work to our political and ideological climate. When conversation moves onto the subject of writing and writing practices, Atwood reveals that she follows no specific method or routine:

“Unlike many writers, Atwood does not require a particular desk, arranged in a particular way, before she can work. ‘There’s a good and a bad side to that,’ she told me. ‘If I did have those things, then I would be able to put myself in that fetishistic situation, and the writing would flow into me, because of the magical objects. But I don’t have those, so that doesn’t happen.’ The good side is that she can write anywhere, and does so, prolifically. […] On one occasion, over tea, she showed me her left hand: it had writing on it. ‘When all else fails, you do have a surface you can write on,’ she said.”

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  1. Really excellent piece – thank you for linking us to it!

  2. Methodological anarchism 🙂

  3. Two words in response to “How Margaret Atwood writes”: Exceedingly well! Thanks, Rhys, for reminding me about that New Yorker story I need to read.

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