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Thursday, October 7, 2021

Writing Should be a Choice, Not Compulsion

     It is said that those who long to be a writer are infatuated, besotted, smitten with words and what they might create. Lorrie Moore famously said, "First try to be something, anything else. You should become a writer if you have no choice. Writing has to be an obsession--it's only for those who say, 'I'm not going to do anything else.'"

     I think that's nonsense…Writing is a choice of a way of spending a working life that lets you off the hook if you decide you don't like it or haven't the talent in the use of words. But if you take to it, the writing life can be rewarding even if you're struggling with perfecting a potentially important or useful work of nonfiction or, heaven forbid, a novel. [Novels written by writers who say "they love words" usually stink. Readers love good stories, not words.]

Sol Stein, Sol Stein's Reference Book for Writers, 2010 

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