Doris Lessing says that writers don’t need memoirs or biographies.The writer reveals herself through her writing. She says, for instance, that you can clearly understand Dickens by reading his novels. You can see his different personalities. His novels are a map of who he is.
Scott Trurow taught himself to write by studying Dickens.
Lessing is always urging us to experience life directly instead of “through a screen of theories, ideas, political correctness, and so forth.” That is not so easily done.
I went to see Midnight in Paris last night which is about learning to find contentment where we are, but it made me want to find contentment in Paris.
Writing is both deeply personal and oddly impersonal at the same time. My friend Susan Coast always said that when you tell a story it stops belonging to you. It belongs to whoever hears it. I’ve felt that way about my own writing. On one hand, I’m mortified by the way in which my writing exposes me. But, at the same time, I feel like once I put something down on paper it has nothing to do with me.