“It took me a long time, and many false starts, to find my way to a project where I felt that same synthesis of subject and psychological state again.”
“You’re not as good as you suspect you are when you’re happiest with yourself, and you’re not as bad as you fear you are when you’re most disgusted with your prose.”
“No beautiful writing comes from an impossibly perfect world; it all comes from this one: cluttered, obligated, distracted.”
“You’re climbing Everest by looking down at your feet, not looking up at the mountain. The second I look up, I wouldn’t be able to breathe, and it would all be too daunting.”
“[Writing] takes a long time. There is no rushing it and the work exists on its own timetable, outside of your own personal deadlines.”
“The more specific you are in writing, the more general an audience can react to it.”
“After I find a good routine – which, for me, usually involves absolute quiet, at least two hours of uninterrupted time, and a pot of black coffee – the writing starts going well, and then I can forget about the routine.”
Natalie Bober is an award-winning and critically acclaimed biographer and historian.
“As I work on a project, typically a book-length essay, I try to ask myself, what puts the reader at the most extreme point of discomfiture?”
Dan Sheehan, a recipient of the 2016 Center for Fiction Emerging Writers Fellowship, is a journalist, editor, and fiction writer.