True confessions—How I Write is just as much for teachers as it is for students. If you love books, How I Write will captivate you, begging for more. It is one of six writing features that The Daily Beast, an online news and opinion website, offers in its Book Beast section.
Each week, The Daily Beast interviews contemporary writers about their daily routine, where they keep their desks, and what makes them laugh. They also reveal their writing methods and quirks.
If you need a book or article recommendation, Book Beast has other features too. Authors reveal what's on their nightstands and their favorite reads in "Great Writers and Their Book Bags.” Looking for something in between? You'll find intriguing indepth non-fiction articles in "The Best Longreads."
Here are some How I Write samples to nosh on:
Author Ma Jian, whose new novel is ‘The Dark Road,’ is a former painter who gave up his art and turned to writing when Communist authorities confiscated his paintings. The father of four young children, he writes late at night when everyone is asleep. He can't do without green tea, and grows his themes by pasting drawings, maps, and poetry lines on the wall. His advice to writers: Read 10,000 books and travel 10,000 miles.
Canadian author and poet Margaret Atwood, probably most noted for her novel, The Handmaid's Tale starts her stories in longhand. Her writing space is filled floor to ceiling with books, and has two desks. She is the co-inventor of an electronic pen that allows her to autograph her books remotely, which is especially useful in places that can't afford to fly her in for an author reading. Atwood knows she's supposed to eat good brain food, like rye bread with peanut butter and banana on top. But she usually has a cup of coffee instead.
EXPLORE: How I Write for more interviews