Writing Frenzies and their Social Effects

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Maud Newton has some relatable writing pains that she’s been ruminating on. It can take forced isolation and sometimes jail time to produce tangible, significant results.

This is the kind of isolation that can make the public realm difficult and overwhelming—a state Maud Newton describes as “going feral.” She picked up some appropriate reading that provides further evidence of this writerly antisocial state, that is “The Writer as Illusionist” by William Maxwell, which revolves around the idea that the writer is like an illusionist who “must be taken in by his own tricks.” Definitely an accurate summation of the mid-whirlwind writer’s experience.


Sam Riley is an adult who works at McSweeney's. More from this author →