Karen Russell on Balancing Writing, Technology, and Boredom
Karen Russell published her first short story in The New Yorker when she was 24 and has already been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her novel Swamplandia!, and she’s only 33, so it’s safe to say that we all want to be her*.
But her youth also makes me trust her advice on writing, disconnecting, and the internet more seriously than I might a 65-year-old writer who spent most of her life without the distractions that we millennials grew up with. The whole Bored & Brilliant series is awesome, and this is an especially great listen!
Edit: I think some readers are misinterpreting the above paragraph, so let me clarify. I often hear older generations of writers talk about how they abstain from social media, disconnect from technology, and isolate themselves in order to be productive writers. And while I think that is sage, valid advice, I also take it with a grain of salt because older generations have a different experience with technology than those of us who grew up in ~the internet era~. Technology use, for us, is much more ingrained. Because Karen Russell is a millennial and has grown up in a similar technological climate, her advice on managing tech distractions feels a little more relatable and refreshing to someone my age (I’m 8 years younger than her). I may also have been unclear when I said “writing, disconnecting, and the internet”; I meant the combination of all 3—for example, I wasn’t making the generalization that I trust only her writing advice simply because she is younger. Writers of all ages, including older ones, are full of wisdom that I always love to hear!
Edit 2*: This was semi-facetious. I, at least, would like to be her.