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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

'Nothing Is Ever Wasted'

 “(Writing) is undoubtedly a lonely career.   But I suspect that people who find it lonely are not writers.  I think if you are a writer you realize how valuable the time is when you are absolutely alone with your characters in complete peace.” - P.D. James

And, settings for novels, she said, can be … well, literally everywhere.

Someone, like you or me, sits down and starts thinking about where and how to “set” a book or a short story or even to tell the story of his or her own life – and pretty soon we have something new to read.  It usually doesn’t happen overnight and it often is a messy process, but regardless of who is doing the writing, it’s yet another completion of a creative process that has led to everything from our neighbor’s “memoirs” to Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises.

James (who lived from 1920 to 2014) had this advice for writers:  “Just write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.  Open your mind to new experiences, particularly to the study of other ­people.  Nothing that happens to a writer – however happy, however tragic – is ever wasted.”   


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