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Location: Baltimore-DC Area

Author who writes for a living and lives for writing. // WOMB: a novel in utero (Merge Publishing 2017) // TRACKS: A Novel in Stories (Atticus Books 2011) // FLIGHTLESS GOOSE, a storybook for children (Writers Lair Books 2008) // www.EricDGoodman.com

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Alice McDermott's Writing Process

Ever wonder how a master novelist like Alice McDermott approaches her writing? She explained her process in Bethesda Maryland as she shared her novel-writing with me and a group of local writers.

Alice McDermott treats fiction writing like a full time job — because it is one.

Alice writes four days a week and treats writing like a real job on those four days. She’s never been exclusively a full-time fiction writer. She teaches, does workshops, and fills her time with other activities as well. Few writers actually write full time … or rather, few of them make it an exclusive job.

“As literary fiction writers, we’re trying to get to something true of us all. So write about common humanity, communal experience, not about a place, plot. Show universal truth to the reader in an interesting way.”

That sounds like a full-time job to me.

Do you treat your writing like a job or a hobby?


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