How I Write – Kaj Tanaka

When/how/where do you write?

No set time or place, but I prefer quiet and it’s best if I’m not preoccupied with other things. Lately, I spend a lot of time writing on my couch, but I have little writing nooks scattered all over my neighborhood. I rotate them in phases. Sometimes I put on headphones with no music just to keep ambient noise to a minimum and so people leave me alone.

Do you eat while you write? If so, what?

No. I do drink a lot of Nescafe brand instant coffee though.

Do you play music while you write? If so, what?

No. I need silence to write well.

What are you reading right now?

The complete works of Isaac Babel + the collected stories of Lydia Davis.


Kaj Tanaka’s writing has appeared in The Rumpus, Electric Literature, Volume 1 Brooklyn, PANK, and Joyland, and he has been featured on Wigleaf's (very) short fictions list. Kaj is the nonfiction editor at BULL. He tweets @othrrealppl