Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lisa See on Writing

The June 2012 issue of Writer's Digest features an interview with Lisa See. I would be unfamiliar with this writer, except for the fact that one of my oldest and dearest friends sent me a copy of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel . She said that it reminded her of me because it talked about two women who had been friends since they were very young. While it was not something I would have usually picked up, I did enjoy it very much.

In Writer's Digest, See shares:

"I would say what I've always said to myself, which is that you've got to write what you're most passionate about. You shouldn't think that writing will change your life - but what it can do is create passion in your life . . .

"Snow Flower and the Secret Fan was my fifth book. At that point I was what they called a "critically acclaimed writer." You know what that means? You get lovely reviews and nobody reads your books. . .

"And so I had in my mind a number. I thought, OK, if I'm lucky, 5,000 people will read this - but they're going to be the right 5,000 people. I just thought, I have to tell this story, and maybe if I'm lucky it will find this small audience. . .

"My point is, what really matters is that you're telling the story you're absolutely invested in. The outside stuff, some of that is just a matter of luck, a matter of timing, a matter of the economy of the world. You have to think of yourself as an artist first. What you're creating is all that matters, and you're trying to create the best possible story, and hope the right readers will find it."

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