To be honest, in my five years as an electrician, I never got the license.
On a good day I write, all day.
Here's a secret: Everyone, if they live long enough, will lose their way at some point. You will lose your way; you will wake up one morning and find yourself lost. This is a hard, simple truth.
Everything we do, I'd imagine, influences everything we will do.
I became an electrician after high school. But I always had this thing in me to write. But it was always a little shameful. To say you were a poet was saying you were kind of crazy, and I carried that around for a long time. I still kind of carry that. And I think it might be true, actually.
My father had always identified himself as a writer to my mother when they met. When they met, he was writing this great novel, there was no doubt about it. Part of why she left him was this delusion of greatness and identifying it very directly with being an artist.
If you're going to write about someone's life, you don't just use them for wallpaper. You have to honor and respect that life.
In life you get one take, and it's perfect.
Our job as writers, as far as I can tell, is to attempt to express what seems inexpressible.
What I do is write, and I try to write as closely as I can into what I call 'the mystery.'
I'm not sure why working at a homeless shelter made sense to me, except that I needed to immerse myself in some sort of larger real-life situation to get me out of the cage of my mind, in some ways.
In life you get one take, and it's perfect. It's strange, afterwards you might think I shouldn't have reacted that way, but that's the way you reacted. That's your take; that's all you get.
The first book I could call mine, my first book, was a picture book, 'The Magic Monkey' - it was adapted from an old Chinese legend by a thirteen-year-old prodigy named Plato Chan with the help of his sister.
The only strategy I know of is to write every day, which I don't always do, because sometimes I just can't, for various reasons that seem out of my control.
When I was a child, writing was the worst possible choice of a career in my family. My father had always identified himself as a writer to my mother when they met. When they met, he was writing this great novel, there was no doubt about it.
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