Writer’s Writers

A writer’s writer isn’t just an excellent writer, but a writer who is admired/appreciated/respected by other writers, but may not be by the general public, a writer you can LEARN from. To that end, I will create a short list of those writers (prose only for now) I put in this category (its purely subjective of course), and then will devote a daily entry to each, explaining why they belong. I welcome any and all names you would like to add to my list. Forthwith is the list (in no particular order):

                                                       Wright Morris

                                                        Richard Yates

                                                       Thomas Bernhard

                                                        Peter Handke

                                                        John Williams

                                                        William Faulkner

                                                        Sherwood Anderson

                                                         Christina Stead

                                                         Flannery O’Connor

                                                         James Purdy

                                                         Virginia Woolf

                                                         Henry David Thoreau

                                                         Karl Ove Knausgaard

                                                         Samuel Beckett

                                                         David Markson

                                                         Jane Austen

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The title of a story I set aside for months; one of those where the idea seems promising but the execution of it impossible. Finally had a breakthrough last night and was able to increase it threefold. Still have no idea how it is going to finish, I’m at the stage where I’m groping blindly in the dark for the slightest thread to keep it moving, with no idea why I’m writing what I am, which is usually the case with stories that are difficult to get out. This time, however, I’m not going to shrink at any of the conclusions I finally come to, i.e. the ending. I suppose the inspiration was the discovery of a blog (Eli Hopkins) on here I can submit it to, and for that I am grateful. Now I leave to sublimate it for a while as is my wont and is usually successful. We literally will see what happens.

Thoreau

A Week was published in 1849, with a note at the back announcing the imminent publication of Walden; or, Life in the Woods. A Week was not well received by the public, however, and only two hundred copies of it sold in the first few years after its publication. Thoreau financed the volume himself. When publisher James Munroe returned the unsold copies to him in 1853, Thoreau wrote in a journal entry for October 28, 1853, “I have now a library of nearly 900 volumes over 700 of which I wrote myself–”

the voice of one crying in the wilderness…

Knausgaard’s My Struggle

A 6-volume hybrid currently translated into english up to volume 3. The most honest writing I’ve ever read, it woke me up to the possibilities of writing fact as if it were fiction. I am embarking on my own version of My Struggle, vol. 1. I originally began it as my usual very autobiographical fiction, meanwhile reading Knausgaard among many other things when it hit me, why not try to write about your life as it is (the title is ‘The Way it Is’), stop making things up, stop censoring yourself, it’s all fiction anyway, no one can remember exactly the way it was as we are constantly evolving, but the attempt to be as honest as one can is not only very liberating but a whole new way of seeing things. My goal is to finally get through a first draft (I started it in December 2012 and have 150,000+ words so far) and then begin the real writing, that is using my real voice. I’d be willing to share some parts if anyone desires.

discussion of the writing process; contributions of all kinds welcome