039: Patty Yumi Cottrell + Sarah Gerard: The Energetics of Writing


In which I chat with the wonderful writers Sarah Gerard and Patty Yumi Cottrell. In the first part of the episode, Patty and Sarah read excerpts from each other’s work. Next, we chat about:

  • dark humor

  • Scorpio season

  • similarities and differences b/w Patty and Sarah’s writing processes and work

  • the capitalist myth of the “writing every day” requirement

  • toward a more expansive view of “writing”

  • finding space and energy for writing and deciding where to put one’s energy

  • writing as a collaboration with the body

  • the brain as a gentle creature

  • astrology

  • Is writing therapeutic?

  • writing as videogame and compulsion

  • the importance of diversions

Sarah Gerard is the author of the essay collection Sunshine State, a New York Times Critics' Choice, and the novel Binary Star, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. Her short stories, essays, interviews, and criticism have appeared in the New York Times, T Magazine, Granta, The Believer, The Baffler, and the anthologies Tampa NoirWe Can’t Help it if We’re From Florida, and One Small Blow Against Encroaching Totalitarianism. Her novel True Love is forthcoming from Harper in July 2020. She lives in New York City with her true love, the writer Patty Yumi Cottrell. Find her at Sarah-Gerard.com.

Patty Yumi Cottrell (born 1981) is the author of Sorry to Disrupt the Peace and the winner of a 2018 Whiting Award and a Barnes and Noble Discover Award. A devout practitioner of the absurdist method, she teaches fiction in New York.

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