The Thing You Must Have To Become A Writer

by Nicole Trilivas

“I was told I was talented: I don’t know that it did much except make me lazy when I should have worked harder. I know many talented people who never became writers, perhaps because they became lazy when they were told they were talented — maybe it is even a way to take people out of the game. I know untalented people who did become writers — and who write well. What I mean is that you can have talent, but if you cannot endure, if you cannot learn to work, and to work against your own worst tendencies and prejudices, and you cannot take the criticism of strangers, or the uncertainty, then you will not become a writer. Ph.D., MFA, self-taught — the only things you must have to become a writer are the stamina to continue and a wily, cagey heart in the face of extremity, failure, and success.”

, from “My Parade,” appears in MFA vs NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction now out from n+1.

If only I looked this grunge chic when I write...

If only I looked this grunge chic when I write…