Creative Writing at The New School

Writing spaces are as varied as the individuals who occupy them. The range of “space” we enter for our writing practice is a wide, wild field from tidy to random, from Maya Angelou in a sparse hotel room to Marcel Proust in bed, from Jane Austen at the kitchen table to you: what does your writing space look like? Take in the motions with first year MFA in fiction and poetry student, Jason Chun.

Where do you write?

This is my bedroom where I’ve been burning the midnight oil. It doesn’t always look this messy—it usually looks worse.

Stand, sit or other?

Both! Sometimes I get tired of my desk, so I set up at the bar table in my kitchen, where I can pace around and find a snack. 

What is your writing practice?

Get a cup of coffee, do some reading, then sit in front of a blank Google Doc for two hours. I do believe in “showing up” to write even when I don’t feel like it, because something good eventually emerges. Even if I don’t write much during a session, I’ve spent time thinking about what I need to write, which often results in a breakthrough at 2am.

What are your favorite procrastinations?

I love/hate doomscrolling on my phone as much as the next guy. Beyond that, I enjoy walking around New York, taking in the motions of the city. Movement is good for my brain.

We live in interesting times, which book/author keeps you sane/grounded?

I have to admit, it was hard for me to read during the pandemic. The one author I kept returning to was Kazuo Ishiguro—Never Let Me Go is possibly my favorite novel of all time. I love how much effort Ishiguro’s characters put into denying the obvious (and no, that has nothing to do with my own habits whatsoever, nope). I also discovered William Gibson’s Neuromancer—that book was written on a typewriter in the 80s, but even today it feels like it came to us from the future. And what an incredible first sentence: “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”

What is your new skill learned during the shutdowns of the Pandemic

This isn’t exactly a skill, but I ran an online poetry workshop called Just Words. It was mostly my friends from undergrad reuniting every two weeks to write again, and it followed a format I borrowed from a class called Poetics of Struggle: check-in question, related writing prompt, write for about 20 minutes, and share. We took turns coming up with the questions—it helped us get away from reality for a little while!

What is your dream writing space?

Somewhere with water, which stimulates my creativity. I stumbled across this picture online. Just give me some headphones and a place to plug in my laptop, and we’re all set.

Jason Chun is a first-year fiction/poetry student originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. He loves science fiction, grunge rock, and warm cafes.

About The Author

Founded in Greenwich Village in 1931, Creative Writing at The New School continues to promote, engender, and shape innovative literature.