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the writerly way  
it's always nice to come across something writerly that will stick in your mind as advice and maybe push you a little more; a while back it was at a literary festival with nate and jason (yes, jason - he was there). they'd have to tell you who the person was that said this (because i'm old and can't remember), and i'm paraphrasing here, but the writer essentially said "if writing is too hard or you think you can't do it, then see if you can stop. if you can stop thinking about it, maybe you're not a writer."

i found another little blurb that called to me. it's in last week's new yorker (6/11/07), in an article about writers' archives that are being collected at the university of texas at austin. it's from don delillo's archives and concerns a correspondence between delillo and david foster wallace. it's nice. you'll like it:

"In October, 1995, David Foster Wallace wrote to him, "Because I tend both to think I'm uniquely afflicted and to idealize people I admire, I tend to imagine you never having had to struggle with any of this narcissism or indulgence stuff. . . . Maybe I want a pep-talk, because I have to tell you I don't enjoy this war (lisa says note - i think by "war" he means "writing") one bit." DeLillo responded in November. "I was a semiconscious writer in the beginning," he writes. "Just sat and wrote something, or read the newspaper, or went to the movies. Over time I began to understand, one, that I was lucky to be doing this work, and, two, that the only way I'd get better at it was to be more serious, to understand the rigors of novel-writing and to make it central to my life, not a variation on some related career choice, like sportswriting or playwriting. The novel is different. . . . We die indoors, and alone, and I don't mean to sound overdramatic but you know what I'm talking about. Anyway, all of this happened over time, until eventually discipline no longer seemed something outside me that urged the reluctant body into the room. At this point discipline is inseparable from what I do. It's not even definable as discipline. It has no name. I never think about it. But there's no trick of meditation or self-mastery that brought it about. I got older, that's all. I was not a born novelist (if anyone is). I had to grow into novelhood."

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post #574
bio: lisa may

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