Q: “What advice would you give your younger self?”
“I think it would be the same advice I give myself now, whenever I feel frustrated or lost, whenever I worry that I’ll never write another decent book or story or sentence: Don’t take yourself too seriously.
I once had a teacher who told me a story about a conversation he had with Grace Paley. He was working with her while at Stanford, complaining to her about how badly the writing was going, how tortured he was by the process. And she turned to him and said, ‘You don’t have to do it, you know. No one’s sitting around waiting for your next story.’
It may be devastating to realize that no one but you is going to care if you stop writing. But it’s also wonderfully freeing. All pressures and expectations drop away. You don’t have to worry about shaping the future of literature or saving the world. You can just put one word after another for the simple pleasure of making something out of nothing.”
Source: Interview with Scott Nadelson, Fiction Writers Review