10 Comments
Nov 10, 2023Liked by Jami Attenberg

Thank you for writing this. I am always so inspired by your essays/substack posts - they always seem to say exactly what I need to hear. Writing from love, yes. Needing a compliment, it feels so silly, aren't I just supposed to love the process?? - but yes, a little compliment goes a long way. Thank you for not making me feel ashamed/embarrassed by that impulse and for showing me its purpose. As an unpublished-but-dilegently-working-on-a-novel kind of writer, it sometimes feels like all the other Published Writers out there don't struggle the same way us nobodies do, but you always make the writing world feel so familiar, you struggle too, and that oddly, gives me hope, inspires me to just keep going. It's like you're pointing out that the struggle is just the nature of the beast, not that it's a struggle because I'm an unpublished writer. Does that make sense? Anyway, thank you. Apologies for the long ramble.

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"Remember: you *like* writing." This is perfect and I needed it so badly.

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Nov 10, 2023Liked by Jami Attenberg

What place do you write from? What a GREAT clarifying question. Thank you, Jami.

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I'm working on a novel for the first time, which started from a place of curiosity that turned into need and maybe some delusion. I feel lucky to have gotten far enough with my characters and story that I'd feel guilty for abandoning them, so now I'm writing from a place of duty. Still curious, though. And maybe it's a loving sense of duty.

Thank you Jami, as always, for your exquisite insight.

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This was exactly what I needed to hear today! I'm giving myself two weeks to do a revision because I need to move on from that work, because it's almost ready, and dropping back in after time away takes time. But this is it, the long haul, in stolen hours, when we're tired, when an illness drags on, because we love it. Because I love it. "What place do you write from?" Yes. Thanks.

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Nov 26, 2023Liked by Jami Attenberg

What place do you write from? What a brilliant question, and response. So thankful you were there to report this gem. Bless you Jami.

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Nov 12, 2023Liked by Jami Attenberg

I'm eighteen months into my novel and I'm not clear as to where I write from. The question is important. Thank you. I hope to discover that answer.

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Lucky you. Jesmyn Ward is so exceptional and fabulous.

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You're tussling with an important subject here, important to so many of us who are working writers and really put time in, as well as those considering a writing life, whatever that means to them. I like the way you advocate for boundaries, self-respect, and immersion, as well as some attention and engagement too. The incubation time is a beautiful thing in a book journey, but so is the time when other eyes see it and help it along. I'm a long-haul writer, I love keeping a book cooking for many years, because I love to revise and learn from it and change what I'm going for, and often I don't know what that is for a good, long time. I do trust, though, that I'll find it. And the search process is the most exciting. Thanks for putting words around so many intangibles, in this newsletter.

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