Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What Made Junot Diaz a Writer

... 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.
Do read this very inspiring (and remarkably humble) account of how Pulitzer prize winning author Junot Diaz came to the realisation that he was a writer in O, the Oprah Magazine.

5 comments:

The Bored Blogger said...

Hornet Flight by Ken Follet. Kinda outdated fiction book. But I love history-fiction genre.

Preets said...

I linked to this essay on my FB page too! Love this, love Junot's style and spirit. Everything he says in interviews makes me want to cheer. That last paragraph almost brought me to tears.

BorneoExpatWriter said...

Wow, and this is what we want to go through to make a living? Are we mad? But at the end of the day, we've produced something, and if it can win an award, too, wow!

To an extent we are mad, but it's our madness, our desire to write, to leave a written legacy, that propels us through this madness that we call writing. It's all a matter of faith, do we have faith in ourselves, in our work, or are we writing in a vacuum, utterly clueless?

This morning I got a nice personal comment about one of my Malaysian short stories from The New Yorker. They turned it down, but it made me wonder, how close am I? How far away am I? How many more years will pass before I get a major hit or a novel published?

It's all a matter of faith, and that little comment tells me I'm a lot closer than I think I am, so hang on and keep plugging away and dream big. It can happen. Junot Diaz persevered and won a Pulitzer! So have many writers before him. We only fail when we stop trying. I love happy endings, don't you? Let's create our own happy endings and win some prizes, too. It can happen. It does happen. I've already experienced that here in Malaysia (I know, no comparison, yet it's a start!). As an American I'm also gunning for a Pulitzer. That's one of my writing dreams. That's why I keep rewriting and sending my work out. You just never know...

Azure Dreamer said...

Sharon, I read this post and went to O the Oprah Magazine to read on this writer...and i was 'overcomed/overwhelmed' with inspirations to write about something...So i wrote a new post on my blog as well called Trance me Into Writing...if you would like to see..its too long for me to put here..

Josette said...

Hi Sharon, thanks for sharing the article. I went to read it and yup, was inspired like I hoped. :) Hmm, I'd certainly like to read the novel that took him so many years to produce!