2 comments on “How to Write in a World Where Beloved Has Already Been Written

  1. When I was a kid I’d wonder, “Why be a baseball player if you aren’t going to be an All-Star?” Of course, you can’t have leagues where everybody is an All-Star because, by definition, All-Stars distinguish themselves from the pack. Only six-year-olds play in leagues where everybody gets a trophy.

    But I think the other reason–the one that can relate to writing–is that every player gives his best every day. And sometimes that leads to some of them becoming All-Stars. They not only work, they strive to work at a level of excellence. When I write, I am trying to move beyond the first words that come to mind. I’m trying to express myself in a way that will make it worth my writing, and your reading.

  2. This is fantastic, Brent. I’m almost to the halfway point of a two-year project to read all of Vladimir Nabokov’s fiction (one book per month), and I occasionally get that impression that you mention, of: why bother? And I just have to remind myself that I’m not in competition with Nabokov, that all I can do is write the best fiction that I can.

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