"...there are things you have to wrestle with yourself internally that will determine in some ways how your work will impact and how long it lasts. Part of those things are outside our control. But I always ask my young writers to really interrogate how much what they're doing is about attention, how much is about approval. And that point Daniel Menaker raised today at the seminar, how much of it is really an attempt to communicate. These things often become confused. I think the desire for attention and approval disrupts the work of even the best artists. As young writers, the more you can resist the urge to just work because those are the things you want, the better your work will be.
I can't stress enough how one has to become familiar not with the lifestyle of being a writer – not going to Bread Loaf, going to AWP, doing all the social aspects of writing. But one needs to familiarize themselves with the convention they are working in, and what I mean by that is you need to read. Read the works of hailed writers, but also one needs to read the journals. You'll be amazed how many writers I know send to journals that they've never read."
Thus says Junot Diaz (and he says it well!) For more, click here.