I think the few writers who influenced me most in writing short stories are Alice Munro and Grace Paley. They're very different, and I can't do what they do, but reading them gives me hope that I'll learn something from them.
I think that the practice of writing every day was what made me remember that writing doesn't have anything to do with publishing books. It can be totally separate and private – a comforting thought.
Alice Munro is a particular kind of short story writer in that she writes long, character-driven short stories.
It's usually easier for me to begin writing in a character's voice if that person is different from me in some significant way.
If somebody says your story is only published because you look nice in the photo, that maybe spurs you on to write.
I've always been a little bit more of a novel reader than a short story reader. I think the first books that made me want to be a writer were novels.
I like it when someone gives me a new book of poetry by a poet I haven't read.
Most good fiction also has a character the writer seems to know more deeply than anyone can actually be known in life, but a few unusual writers can make something great without that.
Research for fiction is a funny thing: you go looking for one piece of information, and find something altogether different.
I'm not a big Woody Allen fan, but thought 'Husbands and Wives' was great.
I can't listen to music when I'm writing. I like music best in a car or on the train.
I think, in general, it's better not to respond to reviews of your work.