“…in terms of how your life is organized around a book, it’s a question of what kind of person you have to be in order to write that book. Do you need to be married, single, traveling, asking questions of other people, alone in your room? What kind of person does the book demand it be written by? You have to become that person.”
What do you tell your students about getting published?
“I tell them not to worry about it just yet – that there’s no rush to get published, that they should spend years reading and writing and messing up, until they feel truly great about the work they’re putting out. When I was first writing stories, an older writer gave me a piece of advice that’s resonated over the years: you only get one chance to have a first book, so make sure you stand behind every one of your sentences”
“The impulse to write springs from the impulse to love language, image, and story.”