Not writing off the life of the mind 

Best known for the novel "The Handmaid's Tale," Canadian author Margaret Atwood is one of those prolific writers whose output seems boggling. She has written 30-some books, including fiction, poetry and children's books, the last of which she claims are the hardest to do.

With such volume, it's not difficult to see why some think her chosen profession isn't all that taxing. During a November talk at the University of Albany in New York state, she pointed out that most people don't believe that writing is real work. "My lawyer says I don't have a real job," she told the audience. "My mom is 89 years old and she still doesn't think I work."

Atwood's formidable body of work, though, just proves that writing can be both challenging and accessible. She's an excellent choice to talk about the recesses of the literary craft, which she will do at UCF when she discusses "Negotiating with the Dead: Where Do Writers Go When They Write?"

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