Junot Diaz on Bad Writing Days in O Magazine

Junot Diaz has a great piece on bad writing days in the November issue of O.  Check out an excerpt here.

Basically, he writes about how it took him 10 years to write his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.  He writes:

“I wrote and I wrote and I wrote, but nothing I produced was worth a damn…

I kept at it for five straight years. Five damn years. Every day failing for five years? I’m a pretty stubborn, pretty hard-hearted character, but those five years of fail did a number on my psyche. On me.”

But he kept writing, every day.

That takes a special kind of will-power and if you’re a writer, you know exactly what he means.

I write every day, but it doesn’t mean anybody’s going to jump up and down because I do it or give me a prize.  I do it because I don’t know what else to do.  Because I have to believe that there’s a reason.

I have writer friends with piles of novels shoved under their desks.  But they keep getting up every day, going to work, despite the odds.

Anyway, if you’re struggling and you’re writing and you’ve been at it forever and are wondering, why is this taking so damn long?  Take a look at Diaz’s piece.  It’s a heartbreaker and absolutely dead on.

  1. Thank you for this. It is exactly what I needed right now, deep in the third draft of an illustrated novel that I’ve been writing-because-I-can’t-do-anything-else for two and a half years. Five years! I feel much better, and convinced more than ever to continue writing every day, with hope.


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