A deep, early love of poetry should be mandatory for all writers.
Most of us are full up with bad stories, boring stories, self-indulgent stories, searing works of unendurable melodrama. We must get all of them our of our system in order to find the good stories that may or may not exist in the fresh water underneath.
You don’t step out of the stream of your life to do your work.
Novel writing, I soon discovered, is like channel swimming: a slow and steady stroke over a long distance in a cold, dark sea.
The ability to write and the ability to teach are not the same, and while I’ve known plenty of people who could do both, there are also plenty of people who can do only one or the other, and plenty who do both who should be doing neither.
Interested in being a better writer? Go buy yourself a copy of The Collected Stories by Grace Paley.
If we could learn everything we needed to know about writing fiction by seeing it masterfully executed, we could just stay in bed and read Chekhov.
The answer to how important a master of fine arts degree is to becoming a fiction writer is, of course, not at all.
No one should ever go into debt to study creative writing.
If you wind up boring yourself, you can pretty much bank on the fact that you’re going to bore your reader.
As far as I’m concerned, writer’s block is a myth.
Do you want to do this thing? Sit down and do it.
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