Editors’ Blog

Sites We Love: The Nervous Breakdown

Friday, September 12th, 2008

By Elizabeth Minkel

Imagine dozens of writers gathered to post nonfiction, memoir, rants, poetry, criticism, thoughtful analysis, photographs, and true stories in any form on one big, raw, no holds barred website that’s part blog, part soapbox—or as Kip Tobin puts it, sboxlog (I’m going to try to work that into conversations). The site’s called TheNervousBreakdown, and its contributors are a cross-genre mix of well-known and obscure writers. Some post daily and some post bi-annually; most seem to post when the spirit moves them—or when they have something to say that just can’t be said anywhere else.

“TNB is the online literary equivalent of Lollapalooza, where recognizable names share the bill with indie writers,” contributor Megan Leah Power explains. “The audience is hot and whip smart and cheers heartily at all the right moments. Poetry one day, reportage the next, it’s a constant surprise.” TNB places fresh, emerging voices next to established, critically-acclaimed writers. I was delighted to find out that my college fiction professor is an active member. Writers take a lot of different approaches, and the diversity produces fantastic results. Noria Jablonski writes, “I think of the writing I do for TheNervousBreakdown as a kind of open notebook. It’s more spontaneous than my other work, less controlled.” “Kerouac wrote On the Road on a 120-foot roll of paper,” writes P.D. Smith. “I see TNB as something similar—a continuous feed of people’s experiences from around the world: what they’re seeing, doing, reading, feeling. Just scroll down and it’s all there: life, the universe & everything… well, nearly everything.” Go ahead. Click here to read, well, nearly everything.

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