The Eminently Forgettable NJ Novel


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.

I found this article by way of Sonya Chung (by way of Alexander Chee). The blog game of telephone. Actually, do kids even call that game telephone anymore? Do they call it facebook or something now?

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.

4 thoughts on “The Eminently Forgettable NJ Novel

  1. i’m completely inspired now, thanks for this post. and i’m so excited about your book(s). and tariku is killing me in that adorable bodysuit. xox.

  2. I love Junot Diaz so much. He makes me want to be a writer, too (but realistically maybe that’s a few lifetimes away at the rate I’m going)

    I’m down with not being a lazy writer or (as it pertains to myself a lazy artist) Once I had artist’s block for over a year and realized later that the whole problem was that I was just too lazy to get working. If you don’t work then your muses don’t know where to find you.

    I can’t wait to read BOTH of your books. I’m really looking forward to it. What an exciting time for you!

  3. Totally off the subject, but my daughter Maddie, who is 2, has the same chair – Ollie the octopus from Babystyle! She loves it!

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