Tuesday, July 27, 2010

William Faulkner: "If I could just stop doing this, I would be a writer."

This is my first blog post for the Algonquin Round Table Mysteries. It’s fitting that I talk about writing and about one of the main characters.

In my first book MURDER YOUR DARLINGS, one of the leading characters is a young William Faulkner. I just stumbled across a great site: an audio archive of Faulkner lectures and interviews while he was a writer-in-residence at the University of Virginia. Listen to Faulkner, in his own words, about being “demon-driven” to write:


Or read it here:

“I’ve heard people say, “Well, if I were not married and—and had children, I would be a writer.” I’ve heard people say, “If I could just stop doing this, I would be a writer.” I don’t believe that. I think if you’re going to write, you’re going to write, and nothing will stop you. That you can be involved, and probably the more you’re involved, it may be better for you. That maybe it’s—it’s bad to—to crawl off into the ivory tower and stay there, that maybe you do need to be involved, to get the edges beaten off of you a little every day may be good for the writer.”

I’m not sure if I totally agree with Faulkner—being married and having children certainly slow down your writing. With two little children, the edges are beaten off of me daily. Figuratively speaking, I’m so edgeless, I’m round as a bowling ball. But hopefully these daily beatings are paying off in the writing department!