Friday, June 16, 2006

Ayelet Waldman on discipline

Ayelet Waldman, author of two novels and the Mommy Track mysteries, wife of Michael Chabon, quoted in The Writer (July 06):

"The only difference between a writer and someone who wants to be a writer but isn't is discipline. The one thing you have control over is how much time you devote to your work. You have got to get your butt into the chair every day (or five days a week), more or less at the same time, and write. Write anything, write badly, write 1,000 words (or 500 or whatever) and don't stop until you're done. Writing is a habit. It's a physical discipline. People who wait for the muse don't up writing anything but email."

Friday, June 09, 2006

The musician and trees and astronauts

Musician Jim White, quoted in The Believer, on how he writes songs:

"Most people, if they built a tree, they would start with the roots and then a trunk and then add branches and twigs and leaves. What I do is start madly throwing leaves in the air, then twigs, then branches, and so forth, and somehow hope they'll all get attached."

on Flannery O'Connor:

"...we were married when we were sixteen. It was a chaste relationship, though, because she was Catholic and dead. No, actually, I was back in Pensacola, one of the times I was going crazy and having a nervous breakdown, thinking I had to flee the South. My friend gave me her collected stories and I read "The River" and it knocked me brain burned as I read those stories."

Also in The Believer, Nick Hornby on Andrew Smith's book MOONDUST, about the Apollo landings:

"There are now nine people in the world who have walked on the moon, and unless something dramatic happens (and I'm talking about a governmental rethink rather than a cure for death), it won't be too long before there is none. That might not mean anything to a lot of you, because you are, I am led to understand, young people, and the moonwalks didn't happen during your lifetime . . . But it means a lot to me, and Andrew Smith, and when the Apollo missions, the future as we understood it, become history, then something will be lost from our psyches. But what do you care? Oh, go back to your hip-hop and your computer games and your promiscuity. (Or your virginity. I forget which one your generation is into at the moment.)"