Author Archives: Kirstin Butler

On Creative Contingency

Home stretch, people. Home stretch. I have committed to sending a “completed” manuscript, whatever that means, to an editor friend, on September 20th. That’s 84 days from now and yes, I’m counting. Having set a hard deadline I find myself constantly besieged by anxiety, an amped-up version of the sense that’s attended almost every single […]

Staying Sane in 2013

In the grand journalistic tradition of both the listicle and year-end wrap-up, I thought I’d celebrate the closing of 2013 by itemizing a few of the things that kept me going through another writing year. Not a how-to by any means, but rather a highly idiosyncratic record of one writer’s way through the great loneliness and […]

(Un)tensing Against the Future

As a warm-up for yesterday’s writing session, I reread the first few pages of Gravity’s Rainbow – yes I’m aware of how douchey that sounds, but it’s true – and for the first time, I realized something: Pynchon’s book opens in the present tense. Then I realized something else: my book should be in the […]

Another Year, Another Story

This is gonna be a long post kids, so strap in. Not to worry, though, it contains writerly wisdom from Junot Diaz, David Foster Wallace, Eudora Welty, and other people who’ve already published stuff, so you don’t have to take my word for it. First off, I’m back from Tin House. There were too many […]