One of the myths we have about creativity is that sometimes we have a calling, that you know that every day of your life, when in truth, half of writing a first draft is very much about failure.
I used to believe in the myth of the big idea: The big idea hits and you never look back. It’s sort of like when you meet a couple that’s been together for a long time and the question you ask is “How did you guys meet?” And there’s always a great story. But the real question — and the one that hopefully you’re too polite to ask — isn’t “How did you guys meet?” but “How did you stick together?” That’s the story of writing a book. How did you stick with it? How did you get through the day-to-day? I think one of the reasons you get so many questions about process — “Do you plot?” “How do you do it?” “How do you do it every day?” — is because people want to believe there’s a way to take the pain out of the process of writing. And there really isn’t. You’re going to have days that are terrible.
No wonder, then, that Pussy Riot make us all uneasy – you know very well what you don’t know, and you don’t pretend to have any quick or easy answers, but you are telling us that those in power don’t know either. Your message is that in Europe today the blind are leading the blind. This is why it is so important that you persist. In the same way that Hegel, after seeing Napoleon riding through Jena, wrote that it was as if he saw the World Spirit riding on a horse, you are nothing less than the critical awareness of us all, sitting in prison.
Strange as it may seem, I still hope for the best, even though the best, like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely arrives, and even when it does it can be lost so easily.
I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone.
Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.
Your writing can only be as good as the best books you’ve read. … It’s true, too, that your writing can only be as good as the best readings you’ve given of the best books. … Better to read one good book well than a hundred poorly. Aspire to be a world class reader.
Writing tips from Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelist Paul Harding, who echoes Henry Miller on the art of reading and seconds Jennifer Egan’s assertion that "reading is the nourishment that lets you do interesting work."explore-blog)
To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.