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I’m not alone

April 19, 2011

As a writer, and as a person, I carry with me, in me, at almost all times a feeling of aloneness. It’s so deep and so much a part of who I am (introvert, child of immigrants, German as my first language, etc) that I forget it’s there, like mild background noise, or certain, tolerable absences–rhubarb when it’s not in season.

But sometimes something happens to awaken me to the feeling, either because I feel more alone (misunderstood, stereotyped) or, and this is the nice one, because I am surprised by like-mindedness about something essential to me.

To warm up for the writing morning, I indulged in my Paris Review interviews obsession and read the interview from 1986 with E.L. Doctorow. I loved what he had to say about his writing process and felt such kinship–someone gets me! I’m not alone!–that I’m sharing the link. I find myself pretty excited about most of the interviews I read there so I think all writers will enjoy this, but especially (perhaps) those who can relate to the “writing a novel is like driving on a country road in the dark” metaphor, and sometimes feel alone…

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