Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Reason Ten Thousand to Love Ann Patchett

Patchett says, "My standard line is that writing is like taking a car trip. If I don't know where I'm going and I don't have a map, I don't get there. I understand a lot of writers say if they knew where they were going, there would be no point in writing, that a book is the process of figuring out where it is going. But I need to know how it's going to end before I start."

I don't always know my endings, and I don't think she means that everything is written in stone (or maybe she does, but I'm not taking it that way), but I do need to have some vague idea. Of course, it changes as I write, but after feeling so browbeaten by the "follow your pen" crew of writers, I find this quote really inspirational.


Clea Simon said...

Yeah, I agree with you. Even when you have a map, you sometimes take fun detours. But I like to have at least an idea of the destination and the route before I set out,too.

Jeff Lyons said...


And then there are people like me who, before they even start writing, have a GPS, satellite positioning, recon teams, cartographers, and Lewis & Clark & Sacagawea and they (me) still get lost.