‘Suddenly I Knew Why I Was Writing a Story at Any Particular Moment’

Longreads

To learn the craft, I’d just written random stories, whatever came into my head, attempting to storify any thought as practice for figuring out what works and what doesn’t. But just writing whatever wasn’t really being a writer. A writer, it seemed to me at the time, was someone with a creative or intellectual project that lasted not the length of a story but over years of writing many different things.

I asked myself what I was fascinated by, scared of, drawn to, repelled by, in love with. What did I like thinking about and what could I never find an end to musing over? For me, then, it was the natural world, any angle of it. I opened this umbrella and began to write stories that fit under it. And suddenly I knew why I was writing a story at any particular moment. Even if it was a mysterious…

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