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Tools writers can?t live without

Tools writers can?t live without — Jonathan Franzen and others talk about their creative process in ”How I Write: The Secret Lives of Authors”

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Tools writers can?t live without

Novelist Claire Messud needs graph paper; Douglas Coupland, chocolate. They’re among dozens of writers who contribute essays (and photos) to the fascinating How I Write: The Secret Lives of Authors (Rizzoli, $35). Here, other objects of scribblers’ affection.

Jonathan Franzen
”This is my office chair, which I’ve been using continuously since scavenging it off a street in Rockland County, New York, in 1982. It squeaks horribly and irremediably, but it’s been many years since I’ve been able to hear the squeak…”

Lionel Shriver
”This is Clippity. He reminds me to eschew fancy-schmancy character names groaning from overloads of symbolism, and to sometimes prefer the obvious. As a child I had a taste for simplicity, to which in mature decrepitude I return.”

Will Self
”I write ideas, tropes, images, observations, snippets of dialogue, themes, factoids, descriptions on these Post-it notes and put them in relevant zones on the wall. Then I organize them into scrapbooks, then I turn them into books…”

Melissa Bank
”This picture…[is] tacked above the writing table at my cabin to remind me of how writing really works…the ungainly struggle, the possibility of rescue, the blind faith writing requires. It also reminds me that the alternative is drowning in a flooded cage in the zoo.”