I’m offering today’s quote, from one of the contemporary writers I most admire, in a shorter and longer version. The shorter version is funny, and the longer of course puts it in context, and I cannot stress the truth of this one enough for anyone with the great fortune to be publishing:
The most disruptive thing you can do to your writing life is publish something.” – Alice McDermott
And the longer:
I have learned that the most disruptive thing you can do to your writing life is publish something . . . amidst all the other demands of normal living, you carve out some time to sit around and make up stories, and then you publish a book and suddenly you’re supposed to travel all over and meet people and give interviews and visit book clubs — all of which you do, of course, because you’re grateful to your readers, and to your publisher, and to anyone at all who feels kindly toward literary fiction . . . but the time and silence and shedding of self-consciousness so necessary to the writing of fiction slowly seeps away. Fortunately, literary novels (and the people who write them) have a short shelf life in the public arena, and eventually, you get to return to the work . . . and on the days it doesn’t go well you find yourself thinking, Why doesn’t someone call and disrupt me?” – Alice McDermott
It comes from an interview in the Washington Post which is well worth reading.