Anna Quindlen on the Agony of Writing

Very much enjoyed this Wall Street Journal piece from Anna Quindlen on writing.  She gives many practical thoughts:

If I go out for lunch and interrupt my rhythm, I’m sunk. I think that all of those lunches were what diminished Truman Capote’s output.

Or maybe it’s that he talked too much about his work. If you talk it, you won’t write it; it’s as though the words turn into vapor in the air. If you write other stuff, you won’t write it either. One of my Barnard writing professors, B.J. Chute, used to tell us not to take jobs that included writing of any kind because there was no chance we would then go home at night and take up our own material. But she predated the Internet, which is more dangerous than a copywriting gig.

I’m convinced that there are only so many words per day in the human body: If you do some longish emails and a few tweets, you feel done.

Read it all.

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4 Comments

Filed under writing

4 responses to “Anna Quindlen on the Agony of Writing

  1. So helpful to see that someone who’s accomplished has to struggle and be disciplined to be able to write. Thank you. I went on to read the rest of the article, and it was worth it.

  2. Good stuff. Thanks. It’s helpful.

  3. owenstrachan

    Thanks, gentlemen. Chris, I’m glad you keep braving the agony and writing great material. Keep it up.

  4. Pingback: Monday Quote – Anna Quindlen « alenaslife

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