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“Most people who write books do it because there’s a story they want to tell, or a character they want to create, or because there’s a great punch line that needs a long setup. Some people write for money. Some people are interested in consciousness, or conscience, or sex, or vampires, or sexy vampires. Some people just want to lord their book deal over the peers at the next Oberlin reunion. Most of us, however, do not get paid to realize that “things that never happened can tangle with things that did,” or that our libraries yet have room for both encyclopedias and poems. We haven’t got time for crises of faith. We have contracts. We have deadlines.”—Jacob Bacharach. Read the whole thing.
“What writers have is a license and also the freedom to sit - to sit, clench their fists, and make themselves excruciatingly aware of the stuff that we’re mostly aware of only on a certain level. And that if the writer does their job right, what he basically does is remind the reader of how smart the reader is. Is to wake the reader up to stuff the reader’s been aware of all the time. And it’s not a question of the writer having more capacity than the average person. It’s that the writer is willing, I think, to cut it off, cut themself off from certain stuff, and develop… and just, and think really hard. Which not everybody has the luxury to do.”—David Foster Wallace
Ann Beattie's 7 Truths About Writers
5. Poets go to bed earliest, followed by short story writers, then novelists. The habits of playwrights are unknown.
[via Book Bench blog]