Welcome to the
Eight Hundred Words community.
Writers helping writers.
Practical resources to help you stop making excuses, do the thing, and write the words.
Scroll down to subscribe to our newsletter.
We’re back with another writer profile! Today, we are hanging out with Blythe Roberson. Blythe is a writer and comedian whose work has been published by The New Yorker, New York Magazine, The Onion, ClickHole, VICE Magazine, and others. She is the author of How to Date Men When You Hate Men (which Ashton read and loved).
As lovers of books and lover of book recommendations, we decided (again) to offer you seasonal book recs.
It took ten years of writing short stories and uncompleted novels to realise that my female characters were flawless. I made them beautiful because I felt I wasn’t.
So many people want to write a book but they want the finished product, not the process of writing. Fall in love with the process and you’ll never look back.
When we attend college, we pick careers, but for some of us these professional pathways aren’t so black and white.
April is National Poetry Month and we asked our instagram followers to submit their own poems! Here are our favorites so far.
This English degree did not need me… But I want to be part of this world in the same way you lust after someone you don’t even know.
There may be a lot of talk about how social media is turning our brains to trash, but we’ve both found that, when used well, it can be a place of encouragement and inspiration. In light of that, we wanted to share with you the accounts that inspire our writing lives in hopes that they can inspire yours, too.
But the biggest lesson i've learned, with book one and now with book two, is that it's one thing to say you're writing a book and it's another thing to actually see it through. It's going to require discipline and consistency.
I’ve woken up early on a Sunday morning to write. Without trying, this has become a bit of a routine. I go to church in the evenings and keep my mornings deliciously free, quiet and slow like dew. This is where I recenter myself, among coffee and instrumental music and empty space. Sometimes the most beloved, necessary routines develop when we’re not looking.
May is mental health awareness month, and I have both everything and nothing to say about it.
“You are a great writer, Ashton. Better than most students I’ve had,” Mrs. Reichley said, her tone serious and intentional, holding one of my papers in her hand as she looked at me from across the desk.
The Apollo is iconic. Chandeliers and theater boxes make sweeping declarations of one hundred years ago. But there’s an intangible quality simmering beneath the elegant trimmings. There is soul here. The Apollo Theater is in Harlem, and the spirit of Harlem lives in the Apollo. Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and Alicia Keys presided, invisible but palpable, taking up the space they deserve. We sat on the front row of the first mezzanine, the best seats in the house, putting our feet up on the rails.
That’s the thing here–you only take up as much space as you need and no more.
That house has been my home for all of my 24.5 years on this earth. It’s where I have experienced some of my deepest hurts and greatest joys. It holds my story, and as I made my way thru the playroom and the rest of the tasks on my dad’s list, that truth became evident. Rather than going thru everything, every picture and elementary school art project and book, I want to talk about the highlights, the real nostalgic treasures.
I’ve been stunned by the power of persistent prayer--the unseen mystery of talking to God, of asking for the desires of your heart but holding them with an open hand, of receiving gifts that are beyond your wildest dreams and realizing they are yours, not because you deserve it, but because you simply asked.
For the last few years I’ve been making a conscious effort to increase my personal awareness of race in America. I’ve written about it a few times, but this is a conversation that needs to continue. And it’s Black History Month, so I’m going to talk about it again.
Like most people I meet, if I hear a certain songs, I get instantly transported to different moments in my past. An unfortunate number of these memories have to do with guys, some with deep sadness or immense joy, and some are just memories of driving to school. There are so many songs and albums that I’ll love, or hate, forever because of what they bring up. Here are some of them.
I’m not an expert on this city by any means (I have the credibility of a long-term tourist), but New York has been the backdrop to significant moments I don’t want to forget. The river is rushing past, leaving barely enough time to savor the sweetness, saltiness, or whiskey-sour-ness of a moment until it’s gone. So, as a three-month-old rookie to this city, here are a few places of significance so far.