Mary Gaitskill is the author of the story collection Bad Behaviour and other notable works. Her stories are published in magazines like The New Yorker and Esquire. Mary also teaches creative writing. This is what she says about her own writing process:
Q: What is your method for overcoming writer’s block?
A: That depends on what the block feels like. Sometimes I just stop writing and do something else for awhile, preferably something as mindless as possible. I walk a lot. Like hours. Other times I force myself to write, but very loosely, almost free-associating without worrying about the quality.
Q: What are your favorite or most helpful writing prompts?
A: I don't believe in prompts. The impulse needs to come from inside, not outside.
Q: What is the most valuable advice you received as a young writer?
A: The good advice I've gotten has always been about a particular piece of work. I don't think I've ever gotten general advice on writing.
> Order a copy of Bad Behavior or Two Girls Fat and Thin
> Read an extended interview with Mary in The Believer