Affichage des articles du janvier 26, 2016

Being a writer according to James McBride

On being a writer
I don’t like sitting around talking about work. Invariably it ends up with, “I didn’t like this book for that reason; I didn’t like this one for that reason.” A writer can’t be too negative. You have to have a little bit of innocence to be a good writer. Whatever you have to do to preserve that innocence-the “is that so?” element—you should do it. You can’t be someone who knows everything-“been there, done that.” If you know every­ thing you shouldn’t be a writer. You should be God.
You need that sense of discovery as a writer, and part of that comes from the attitude you have. You have to stay away from people and places that foster cynicism and bitterness.

On being a writer of color
Publishers love the idea of a black person who’s showing they were a thug doing dope and crack-the whole business of “I was lost but now I’m found; I was blind but now I see.” This is a real problem for black writers. The industry is accustomed to black writers writing about pain a…