5 reasons to spend less time writing

Thomas Wolfe notoriously relied on Maxwell Perkins to untangle his knotted prose. Here’s why you should unleash your inner Perkins rather than try for perfection in your first draft.

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You’ve probably never heard of burning mouth syndrome. Unless you suffer from it, as I did for almost eight years.

How to describe it?

It made me feel as though I had just eaten a particularly peppery radish. The sensation affected my tongue and the roof of my mouth, and it never started before noon and didn’t appear every day. But sometimes it showed up relentlessly, day after day, week after week—like a thoroughly unwelcome and belligerent houseguest.

In my case, doctors suspect it was caused by a root canal although burning mouth doesn’t always have such a definitive source. I saw a multitude of dentists and oral medicine specialists, followed all of their suggestions—from dietary, to herbal remedies to drugs—and nothing worked.

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