On What it Takes to be a Writer …

Dani Shapiro blog excerpt:

 It brought me to an abiding, powerful understanding of the way we human beings—once we dig beneath our protective shells—are more similar than different. The same worries keep us up at night. The same fears and insecurities drive us.

In a workshop, I was discussing some manuscript pages of one of my students—a lovely writer who has been working on a memoir for the past ten years—and I wasn’t telling her what she wanted to hear.  What she wanted to hear was, of course, what we all want to hear, which is: this is magnificent, and your work here is done. After all, she had been working on the manuscript for ten years.  She had poured everything she had into it.  But her work wasn’t done. And as we began to talk about it, she told us she was trying not to cry.

And what I said in response was perhaps not the most teacherly thing I have ever said: I cry every day.


Here is the piece Lauren read out at last night’s meeting by Dani Shapiro in full.