How I Write – Tyler Barton

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When/how/where do you write?

I write in the morning. Before work. At my wide orange IKEA desk. With a clean view of the rear of a Kwik Trip and, in the distance, a Little Caesar’s. Our dog–a determined, clingy Dachshund–will wake from his post-breakfast nap and insist on laying in my lap/chewing at my fingers while I’m typing. We wrestle a bit, and sometimes he climbs my back and perches on my shoulder to watch for squirrels or sparrows. I hate it. The photo shows this dog phenomenon, but also my desktop, where I keep the the story I’m currently working on in my mouth.

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

I drink coffee. When, occasionally and in the afternoon, I write in coffee shops, I’ll eat a giant muffin or scone. And also drink coffee.

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

I listen to wordless music. Most frequently: BADBADNOTGOOD and the Her soundtrack.

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading four books on and off. First is Get in Trouble, Kelly Link’s incredible story collection. Second is Rift by Kathy Fish and Robert Vaughn, a collaborative book of haunting flash fiction. Third is a satirical novel by A. Igoni Barrett called Blackass. Last is Pain: The Board Game, the latest collection of hilarious poems by Samson Starkweather.

Tyler Barton studies fiction writing at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where he serves as a fiction editor for the Blue Earth Review and a host of the Weekly Reader podcast. His stories have recently appeared in Monkeybicycle, Smokelong Quarterly, and Nailed Magazine. Find his work at Find his jokes at @goftyler.