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The Short Form

The Aspect of Being a Writer That Feels Like Junior High

Dan Chaon on the things he's had to unlearn as a writer, in an interview with Fictionaut:

The part that’s hardest is when I start thinking about the stuff beyond the scope of the actual work,  because there’s an aspect of being a writer that feels constantly like being in Junior High.

Will I ever publish a story in the New Yorker?  Probably not.

Will the cool po-mo hipster guys ever think I’m cool too?  In a pig’s eye.

Will I ever please that Amazon reviewer who found my work boring and depressing,  and my characters unlikable?  Highly doubtful.

It’s very hard — weirdly hard — to clear your mind of all that crap so that you can just sit down and write and find that place where you’re just involved and enjoying the imaginary place you’ve discovered.  All the other “problems” with writing are just puzzles,  and they can be interesting to try to crack,  even when it’s frustrating.