In an interview airing on Canadian TV tomorrow, Alice Munro talks about smoking dope, losing a child, and suffering from writer’s block.
Not long ago I happened upon Munro’s answer to what must be a veteran author’s most dreaded question: “What advice would you give to young writers?”
It’s not possible to advise a young writer because every young writer is so different. You might say, “Read,” but a writer can read too much and be paralyzed. Or, “Don’t read, don’t think, just write,” and the result could be a mountain of drivel. If you’re going to be a writer you’ll probably take a lot of wrong turns and then one day just end up writing something you have to write, then getting it better and better just because you want it to be better, and even when you get old and think “There must be something else people do” you won’t quite be able to quit.