Up on Publishers Weekly, Matt Sumell’s piece on Why Writing is So Hard (March 13th) speaks to my inner critic – how do you switch her off? Should I lock her in a cupboard? Sumell skates across American male approaches to writing – Hawthrone, Hemingway, Thompson, Michael Herr’s Dispatches, Frederick Exley’s A Fan’s Notes, – a nod to a couple of women would have widened out his thinking – but this is his experience and it’s insightful and true about the difficulties of writing through yourself.
with writing there’s no formula that makes sense to me, no recipe to follow, no map—at least no map I know how to read—to help me navigate. Every story is different, and every story comes with its own specific difficulties, so every story also comes with its own specific anxiety and panic until it’s done. Only—as they say—it’s never done, just abandoned.
The article coincides with publication of Sumell’s “novel-in-stories” Making Nice (Harvil Secker [UK]; Henry Holt [US]). Publishers Weekly think
it’s one of the funniest (and best) books of the year, featuring the self-destructive but well-meaning Alby–a “loser,” according to his sister.
Good enough praise for it to slip into the tbr pile
>>Link to full article on PW– Why Writing is So Hard