On being a writer

There have been some interesting posts around the the literary blogosphere on writing and/or on being a writer. I thought I would make a note of them here in case you missed them.

– If for some odd reason you don’t read Robert Birnbaum’s interviews, well pull yourself together and get with it! Start with this fascinating interview with Ben Jones, author of The Rope Eater. Jones talks candidly about how he tried to find his way as a writer and the practical and intellectual challenges that presented.
(BTW, Yankee Pot Roast turns the tables on Birnbaum here.)

– Maud Newton has started an interesting series of interviews with writers about writing which is very much worth reading. For example, Jonathan Ames’ sort of stream of consciousness answers are revealing in a weird way.

– In case you missed it, Mark at The Elegant Variation interviewed Andrew Sean Greer, author of The Confessions of Max Tivoli, a few weeks back.

My own, rather limited, experience with interviews/Q&A has increased my appreciation for the skill necessary to make the format really work. If you haven’t tried it, coming up with intelligent and engaging questions – and tying them together in a coherent whole – is hard work. But when it is done well it can be informative, thought provoking, and entertaining. The above links are examples of how to do it right.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).