I really loved this interview with David Rakoff about why he writes.  This part especially really resonated with me:

“Writing only ever begins badly.  And you have to sit and tolerate yourself long enough to grind out a shitty draft.  And unlike cooking, where basically you put together a meal from palatable ingredients, what you have to essentially do is reverse engineer a meal out of rotten, stinky, slimy moldy food.”

Yes. Exactly.

I don’t think we were motivated to write for the same reasons (for me, it’s rather like running–it feels so good when you stop), but he’s definitely described why it is so very hard to produce something that anyone would want to read.  And no matter how long you practice, it never seems to get any easier.

Rakoff was three years younger than me, and died this week of cancer.

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. It’s reassuring to know that I’m not the only one who feels like that.

  2. Such a loss. I hadn’t heard this clip, so thanks. Man, does he tell it like it is for most of us.

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