Brigid Pasulka




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Brigid Pasulka

Goodreads Author


Born
The United States
Website

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Member Since
September 2008


Brigid Pasulka is the author of A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True, which won the 2010 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award and was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Pasulka currently lives in Chicago with her husband and runs the writing center at a public high school. Visit her website at BrigidPasulka.com.

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Brigid Pasulka Hi, Candy,

Every author's story is different--I personally felt compelled to write. Two things led to this. One was that I fell out of love with art…more
Hi, Candy,

Every author's story is different--I personally felt compelled to write. Two things led to this. One was that I fell out of love with art (sculpture, mostly). From the age of five to twenty-one, I only wanted to become an artist, and then suddenly, I began to get frustrated because I wasn't technically good enough to communicate what was inside me. Then, when I was 21/22, I went off to Poland for a year. When I came back, I was brimming with stories--things that I'd seen or heard or read about--and had to, simply HAD to, write them down. I felt then, and still feel now, that even if I never publish anything, I would still write.

Establishing a practical daily habit, though, is just like anything else. At a certain point, I was tired of going back and forth and only writing when I "felt like it." So I put a calendar on my wall and told myself I was going to write every day until I didn't want to write anymore and then I would stop torturing myself with it. That was almost 20 years ago. I skip days (and a few months when I had my son), but when I do, I just feel off. Writing is an integral part of life for me.
Also, writing and publishing are two different things. You can do 95% of what I'm doing as an "author" simply by sitting down at your computer and struggling to get the words down. The publishing and publicity part is almost an interruption to the writing--you can't focus on that. Nobody knows if their book is going to sell, and frankly, that's for the best, because it frees you up to write what you really want to write.

Good luck, Candy, and thanks for the question.

Brigid


(less)
Brigid Pasulka I'm lucky in that I have general ideas for the next few books percolating in my head for years before I write them. But I definitely struggle…moreI'm lucky in that I have general ideas for the next few books percolating in my head for years before I write them. But I definitely struggle day-to-day in getting them down.

Usually the problem is garden-variety distractions that prevent deep thought, most of which I have off-switches for; it's just a matter of pressing them. (Easier said than done, I know.)

Sometimes it's that what I want to happen (or what I've already written) conflicts with what SHOULD happen in the story (based on the characters' personalities/motivations).

Mostly, when I hit a block, it means I need to do more thinking and less grinding.

Sometimes if I just go for a run, that shakes something loose.

Other times, I need a long car ride with the radio off.

One trick I've learned lately is to try to soak in whatever I'm writing for a full day. I live in a city, work full-time and have a one-year-old at home, so I can't exactly take a week off and go to some fabulous cabin in the mountains. But I take a day and cut everything nonessential out--forget about cleaning, get my husband to make dinner--in order to squeeze as much writing and thinking time as possible out of the day. I squeeze time out of the early morning, my commute, my lunch break, and I bring my computer to bed and write instead of reading. Basically, every free minute of the day, I try to immerse myself in the characters and the book. Usually, that gets me back in the story enough to move ahead.

Also, especially on the first novel, the length and linear aspect seemed really daunting, so if I was stuck on the next scene, I would let myself write any scene no matter how far ahead. (less)
Average rating: 3.93 · 1,918 ratings · 416 reviews · 2 distinct works · Similar authors
A Long, Long Time Ago and E...

3.93 avg rating — 1,409 ratings — published 2009 — 15 editions
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The Sun and Other Stars

3.94 avg rating — 509 ratings — published 2013 — 8 editions
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The Sweet Spot by Christine Carter
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Great book, esp. for working mothers. Very practical suggestions, illustrated well by candid examples from the author's life. I especially found the chapters on "autopiloting" things in your life and easing overwhelm to be particularly helpful.
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We Were the People by Dirk Philipsen
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Dense and thorough, but not dull. The most complete first-person account of the events surrounding "die Wende" (the fall of the Berlin Wall), at least that I've found.
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The File by Timothy Garton Ash
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I think I have said in another review that Timothy Garton Ash is the Forrest Gump of the Eastern European revolutions--very prescient in how he placed (or at least tried to place) himself in the right place at the right time. So although this is defi ...more
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More of Brigid's books…
“The stupid things you do in life are the most beautiful.”
Brigid Pasulka, A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True

“[The Pigeon had learned something about [women] from his eight sisters, and if over the years he had absorbed only this one thing, it would stand as vindication that a boy does not suffer needlessly from growing up in a house with eight sisters. That thing was that a woman's heart is not bought by the currency of a man's emotion for her. A woman's heart is won over by her own feelings for herself when he just happens to be around ...”
Brigid Pasulka, A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True
tags: love, women

“If everyone knows so much about it, why do they need to make a documentary?”
Brigid Pasulka, A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True

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