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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Writing Quote: The Novelist's Despair

Unless the novelist has the good luck to visit the bestseller lists or wallow in unusual critical adulation, fiction writing often seems an exercise in futility. After a short burst of reviews [Most novelists don't even get that anymore], the comments of one's close friends and a smattering of letters from strangers who care enough to write, a disturbing silence descends. It is like a small death. Something that has long been alive in us struggling to breathe is suddenly without discernible pulse. Nothing looks quite so dusty and dead as yesterday's book on the shelf. The novelist will likely begin to brood that the months or years invested in his work have gone for naught. It is at this point that writers become difficult to live with. They may take up drink, flirt with Godless religion or seek to run away with blondes. One's worth and how one has chosen to spend one's day are called into question.

Larry L. King, The Night Hank Williams Died, 1989 

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