Weymouth Center: Words of Wisdom


Questions I have asked other writers—decades my senior—this week at Weymouth:
“What does the compulsion to write a novel feel like?”
“Am I going to love this life so much that I’ll become a stubborn old maid who’s only good on paper?”
“What was it like to be among the fleet of writers thirty years ago who wrote the Sweet Valley High series? How did that help you? How did it hinder finding your own voice?”
“How do you escape? What is it you find solace in when you’re not at the desk?”
Things those writers have said to me this week at Weymouth:
“I’ve got this gigantic thesaurus and, you won’t believe it, but it only weighs eight ounces. The pages are so thin they’re like tissues!”
“We must fight to bring back the omniscient narrator!”
“Your stories might be short, but you know structure. Your pieces are wholly authentic. Those war stories are seriously good. And when you write your first novel, you will be miles ahead because of it.”
“How long have you been a wayward child?”
“Are you a gypsy?”
“You’re doing it exactly right. And you’re not allowed to worry about becoming an old maid until you’re at least fifty…but you are correct in your concern about becoming calcified. It’s what happens when we love what we do so much that we’re not willing to give it up, even for companionship.”

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