Creative Writing

Things We Carry: Morgan Jerkins

Things We Carry is a series of short interviews with current students, faculty, and alumni of the Creative Writing Program. These conversations are interested in the tactile elements of writing: what do we hold essential? What tools do we need in order to create? The things we find essential to our writing process reflect our beliefs about craft and process. 

This week, we were so happy to chat with bestselling author and faculty member Morgan Jerkins.

First things first: where & when are you writing these days?
I am writing in the early mornings and evenings in my home. More specifically, on my sectional sofa.

Do you have any tools or tokens that are essential to your writing?
I listen to the Autumn Acoustic playlist on Spotify these days. But beyond that, it’s either retro or vapor wave.

Pen and paper, laptop and wifi, or a combination?
Laptop and wifi.

Do you have any habits or rituals that help you get grounded before you start writing?
I definitely do box breathing and I pray beforehand. Sometimes I’ll put on some sacral chakra
music because apparently that particular chakra is linked to creativity.

You have been given a backpack and are being sent to a desert island for thirty days of uninterrupted writing time. What do you put in the backpack?
My laptop. A journal and some mechanical pencils. How deserted is this desert? I’m gonna need some WiFi.

Last question: are there any words or quotes that you find essential to your writing practice?
“If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” -Toni Morrison

Morgan Jerkins is the author of the New York Times bestseller This Will Be My Undoing, as well as the critically acclaimed books, Wandering In Strange Lands and Caul Baby. A Forbes 30 Under 30 Alumni in Media and an ASME Next Award winner for outstanding journalism, Jerkins has held editorial roles at Medium, ESPN, and New York Magazine, among others and held professorship positions at Columbia University, The New School, and Leipzig University in Germany. She holds a Bachelor’s in Comparative Literature from Princeton University and an MFA from Bennington College.

Things We Carry is an interview series produced by Stuart Pennebaker.

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