Listen to the podcast of Joan Didion, interviewed by Chris Lydon here (or download as an mp3).
“Joan Didion wore a purple scarf and her trademark oversized glasses last night at the sold-out Harvard Book Store-sponsored event at First Parish Church in Cambridge. She was in town to promote her new book, the heartbreaking “Blue Nights,” which concerns the death of her daughter and which can, and likely will, be read as a macabre follow-up to 2005’s deeply affecting “The Year of Magical Thinking,” about the death of her husband.”
— via The Boston Phoenix
“When I’m working on a book, I constantly retype my own sentences. Every day I go back to page one and just retype what I have. It gets me into a rhythm. Once I get over maybe a hundred pages, I won’t go back to page one, but I might go back to page fifty-five, or twenty, even. But then every once in a while I feel the need to go to page one again and start rewriting. At the end of the day, I mark up the pages I’ve done—pages or page—all the way back to page one. I mark them up so that I can retype them in the morning. It gets me past that blank terror.”
— Joan Didion
This was my lunchtime reading yesterday. I highly, highly recommend it to anyone who writes anything at all. I think there’s something to be said for the way that Didion balanced multiple types of writing, from fiction and nonfiction to literary journalism and screenwriting.
Read the interview in its entirety here.