Saturday, September 19, 2020

Quote of the Day (Hilary Mantel, on Fear of Commitment and Fear of Writing)

“The experienced writer says to the anguished novice: just do it; get something, anything, on to the screen or page, just establish a flow of words, and criticise them later. You give this advice but can't always take it. You dread setting off down any one narrative path, because you know your choice will make most of the others impossible. Select one, write it, and it begins to seem in some sense pre-ordained, natural, correct; the other options fade from memory. Fear of commitment lies behind the fear of writing. Writers, as generations of jealous spouses have learned to their cost, are not naturally monogamous. We don't want to choose; we want to keep open all the possibilities, fill a lifetime with fresh and less-than-final versions.”—English novelist (Wolf Hall) Hilary Mantel, “Author, Author: Persons from Porlock,” The Guardian, Mar. 6, 2009

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