Writing Inspiration: Becoming a Writer by Junot Diaz

“You see, in my view a writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.”
Junot Diaz, Pulitzer Prize 2008, The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Essay for Oprah Magazine, October 13, 2009

“I don’t have any sense other than that writing is extremely difficult for me. People are always asking, “Did it take you so long because writing a novel is really hard?” I’m like, dude, it took me seven years to write one story, one twenty page story. Really? I didn’t realize that one was harder than the other, they all seem impossible to me. They both have me through the intestines on their horns, so it’s that kind of weird thing like getting gut-shot by a pistol or a rifle. And the process, someone’s like “Tell me, which one is worse?” And I’m like [screams]! That’s the only way to answer it, I’m usually so busy screaming the fine nuances of loss.”
excerpt from Bookslut interview with Junot Diaz, September 2007
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Sometimes it does the heart good to know how hard writing is for other people–even a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist. These quotes may have very well saved me last night.

Thank you, Mr. Diaz.

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Vivian Lee Mahoney

Consider yourself warned: I write books about rebels. I'm also a postergirlz for readergirlz, a literary advisory group for teens. Who knew going back to the teenage years would be so rewarding?

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