“I have stacks of notebooks that contain this terribly clumsy writing, which is just getting anything down. I often wonder, when I look at these first drafts, if there was any point in doing this at all. I’m the opposite of a writer with a quick gift, you know, someone who gets it piped in. I don’t grasp it very readily at all, the ‘it’ being whatever I’m trying to do. I often get on the wrong track and have to haul myself back.” The Paris Review, The Art of Fiction No. 137, Alive Munro Interview.
Cheers to Alice Munro for being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature! I just love reading about successful female writers and chose to spend my free time today researching her work. Furthermore, since we practiced interviewing last night in my Feature Writing class, I decided to read as many interviews of her that I could find. It is refreshing to hear what the author’s writing process is like and how they feel about their work. You can always pull useful advice from their responses.
Here are some things I learned from her:
- Stay humble.
- Read William Maxwell.
- Find time to write, even if it is just scribbling nonsensical things – you can weave them into something more meaningful later (Munro wrote when her kids were napping!)
- Listen to how people talk to one another, even if you are eavesdropping!
- Record interesting anecdotes that people share – it may inspire a new story.
- Write what you know.
- “Any story that is going to be good is usually going to change,” (Alice Munro Interview, The Paris Review, The Art of Fiction No. 137).
- Dig into your family history for interesting stories.
- Write everyday.