“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.
“The process of rewriting is so important, it’s like breathing to a writer. It’s everything.”
“Good writing is what happens when you stop thinking about the writing itself and think more straightforwardly about what it is you’re trying to say.”
“A writer once told me there is only one way to create: as if your life depends on it, which it does.”
“Breaking the ground is a very important phase. It’s a difficult phase, but once you take the time to do that, the book somehow propels you forward.”
“When I’m on a project, it’s good to be immersed in it, to return to it, daily.”
“You need to really get inside the head of someone who is not you and give them a voice and dignity.”
“Fiction’s not a place for hiding. Your skin is in the game, from the moment you begin.”
It’s good for me to notice the tiniest sub-“thought” which goes through my mind, almost too fast to notice—to catch it before it’s gone, to jot it down. Whhhsshht!