Quotables – Jennifer Egan
Jennifer Egan: 10 Quotes
- Quick views of someone you never get to know are so evocative.
- My cats are a big part of my work life. They’re in and out of here all day long.
- I usually try to write five to seven original pages a day. I find if I go over that then I’m often really depleted for the next day and I find its better to hold onto the continuity.
- A first draft takes about 10% of the total writing time.
- Usually my books go through three or four big drafts, with each big draft reflecting 20 rewrites of each individual part.
- When I’m writing fiction I don’t like writing at a desk. I’ll often write at this [gingham easy] chair that I got at Ikea. It’s awful, there are pen marks all over it. If I’m writing original stuff and not editing I often use a lap desk and I write on legal pads. Anything that involves typing or businessy stuff, I’ll do at the desk. The actual creation is always by hand, away from the computer.
- I print out and save all my drafts and I number them so if I start to have that experience of something good having disappeared, I can go through them and I can dig back to what I’m looking for. I distrust the continuous present of a screen because there’s no history there.
- I believe profoundly in continuing to read and think and communicate in sophisticated ways, especially when the problems we as a world are dealing with have never been greater. It couldn’t be more important.
- The goal is not just to publish a few books and have a good time. The goal ideally is to try to create work that lasts and pushes the conversation forward in some way.
- I haven’t had trouble with writer’s block. I think it’s because my process involves writing very badly. My first drafts are filled with lurching, clichéd writing, outright flailing around. Writing that doesn’t have a good voice or any voice. But then there will be good moments. It seems writer’s block is often a dislike of writing badly and waiting for writing better to happen.
Egan is an American novelist and short story writer. Her novel A Visit from the Goon Squad won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction.
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