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Monday, July 31, 2023

'It's a gorgeous struggle'

“My cure for writer's block is to step away from the thing I'm stuck on, usually a novel, and write something totally different. Besides fiction, I write poetry, screenplays, essays and journalism. It's usually not the writing itself that I'm stuck on, but the thing I'm trying to write. So I often have four or five things going at once.”  Jess Walter


Born in July, 1965 Walter is the Spokane, Wash.-based author of 7 novels, 2 collections of short stories, a non-fiction book, and myriad essays and short stories.  To date, his works have been translated into 32 languages.


His award-winning Beautiful Ruins has an interesting premise.  It revolves around the people who surround or interact with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton during the filming of the 1963 blockbuster film Cleopatra.   And, of course, everything fits into the “What If?” category. 

A frequent guest speaker, he says his best advice for new writers is to “just do it and don’t worry,” noting that he wrote for 7 years and made a total of $25 before finally breaking through.


“Forget being 'discovered.' All you can do is write.   If you write well enough, and are stubborn enough to embrace failure, and if you happen to fall into the narrow categories that the book market recognizes, then you might make a little money.   Otherwise, it's a struggle.  (But) A gorgeous struggle.”



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