Nick Miller: Postpartum Postmortem →
My novel, Isn’t It Pretty To Think So?, was published in June this year. I’ve been candid about my writing process from the day I decided to post my first chapter online until the day, years later, when the completed manuscript was forced out of my hands. But I haven’t shared too many of my…
So much truth here about the creative process. For me, the rigors of the journey that go into making a painting is always it. The finished piece, not always that much. I might be happy with it, but there’s always that emptiness that gnaws at you until you start on something else.
Zadie Smith on writing (to an audience) →
I used to have this envious feeling towards the type of writer who never gives a second thought to whether their readers might not all be white and middle class and highly educated. That’s the whole world to them. All their characters sound like the author and like each other and like the reader. It seemed to me you could write so much more cleanly and stylishly when you didn’t have to try and think yourself into many places at the same time. Of course, it probably isn’t easier—the grass always looks greener elsewhere. Anyway, in my situation, every time I write a sentence I’m thinking not only of the people I ended up in college with but my siblings, my family, my school friends, the people from my neighborhood. I’ve come to realize that this is an advantage, really: it keeps you on your toes. And it seems clear to me that these little varietals of voice and lifestyle (bad word, but I can’t think of another) are fundamentally significant. They’re not just decoration on top of a life; they’re the filter through which we come to understand the world. To be born into money is ontologically different than to be born without it, for example.
"I know only one person who loves working in Word: my 4-year-old. It’s valuable to him to be able to put the names of subway lines in their correct colors, or to spell out “autumn” with each letter a different falling-leaf hue, or to jump from Times New Roman to Comic Sans to Chalkboard in midstory. He also loves to write things on my old manual Smith-Corona. A tool that’s lost its purpose makes a great toy."
"And the weirdest part was that I sold out at every reading. I’d love to believe that this was because people were just blown away by my incandescent prose. But I think it had more to do with a kind of communal feeling. Readers liked the fact that the book wasn’t available everywhere. If this were a traditional publishing endeavor, the next question would be how to get the book a “bigger platform,” meaning a place in the great Barnes-&-Noble-Amazon-Kindle-i-Pad-clusterfuckosphere. But because this is something much more personal, I decided – nah. I was cool with Harvard Bookstore selling it. But other than that, Minute, Honey is available only at readings. My reasoning is pretty simple: I want the book to be an artifact that commemorates a particular human gathering, not a commodity."