Why Writing is So Hard

Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of Everything is IlluminatedExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and Eating Animals. I watched a BigThink video in which he discussed the difficulty of writing fiction. Though I’m not a poet, I think a lot of his points apply to poetry as well.

“You don’t even know what good would be.  You know, is a good book an entertaining one?  Probably not alone, otherwise, you know, Danielle Steele might be the greatest author that ever lived.  Is a good book one that conveys some kind of moral imagination?  Probably not.  Is it one that is artful?  Well, it’s hard to even know what that means, but there are very, very artful books that very few people can ever get into.  Is it to be funny; is it to be sad; is it to be new; is it to be familiar; is it to describe life as people now live it; or is it to do just the opposite?  You know, there isn’t any one answer, but the scary thing is that there might not be any answer.”

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