Junot Diaz writes here about becoming a writer. My favorite line:
By then I wasn’t even interested in a Great American Novel. I would have been elated with the eminently forgettable NJ novel.
Anyway, the gist of Diaz’s article made me go: Yes!, Yes!, that’s it exactly! Here is an excerpt:
I didn’t become a writer the first time I put pen to paper or when I finished my first book (easy) or my second one (hard). You see, in my view a writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway. Wasn’t until that night when I was faced with all those lousy pages that I realized, really realized, what it was exactly that I am.
I actually wrote two eminently forgettable NJ novels before selling my memoir. One of them is coming out next January, so I hope it isn’t, in fact, eminently forgettable. But I remember the same moment in my life that Diaz describes in the article: the moment I knew I was a writer. It was the moment when I knew, really knew in my heart that my first novel was going to live in a drawer forever and I went to my kitchen table to write the next one.