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Patience With Your Own Crap: Philip Roth on Writing
Roth: Patience. That is, the patience to outlast your frustration. The confidence that if you just stay with it you’ll master it, you know? But that doesn’t mean tomorrow necessarily but that I think it gives you confidence in your instincts….You don’t feel like such a gambler, such a risk taker, in laying down the first ten or twenty or fifty pages. So I guess age and experience give you patience, confidence. Though the confidence can be shattered at the end of a first draft. Probably any work where you start with nothing on a page and you have to fill the page is accompanied by a lot of anxiety and a lot of fear. Fear that simply you can’t do it. And frustration as you’re doing it because what comes is very crude. But over the years I think what you develop is a tolerance for your very crudeness. And patience, patience with your own crap, really. And a kind of belief in your crap, which is: just stay with your crap and it’ll get better if you just stay with it. And then come back every day and keep going.
7 hours ago by cloughgates

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