My friend Melinda recently sent me this link to a New Yorker post by Nathaniel Stein titled “My Book.” It’s about an author who sees himself and his work as very important but with very little to back it up. I wish I didn’t find this so funny, but I do, and it’s partly because it reminds me of people I’ve met or meet in workshops. I was probably one of them at one point. I think the longer we write, the more humbled we are by the process, and the more obvious it is that what we have to say about our work or how we justify it means nothing compared to the work itself.
A few favorites from the article:
“My book–like all truly great ones–also tells you less about its apparent subject matter than it does about yourself. Since I don’t know you, this stuff might be sort of off.”
“My book has been translated into more than sixty-eight fonts.”