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Now get to it

“You have to write the thing you feel is missing from the world, that’s not on the bookshelves, the book that you would want to read if you’d heard about it, the book that you long for. And you have to be really honest about what that is. You can’t necessarily write the book that will earn you the respect of other people who are the guardians of the culture. Because you appointed them to be. That can’t  be the motive. You have to write the book your heart wishes existed.” — Elizabeth Gilbert (from interview by Rachel Khong in Rumpus)

Published inLit & Crit

2 Comments

  1. A while back I read an interview with an editor whose name I can’t recall, who said the books he chooses have to feel necessary. I think this is what that looks like from the writer’s perspective; the book feels necessary because it doesn’t exist when you badly want to read it. So you end up writing the damn thing yourself, out of desperation.

    • i saw you quoted this post and wrote about it on your blog today. i’ll get over there when i can and say a thing or two. only the writer knows if the book is personally necessary; then there’s still the question of whether or not the book is necessary to anyone else, and whom, and how–or how to make it so–and make it so that it is necessary to the largest possible readership.

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