Artist’s Corner: Robert Penn Warren on Writing

“If anybody’s going to be a writer, he’s got to be able to say, “This has got to come first, to write has to come first.” That is, if you have a job, you have to scant your job a little bit. You can’t be an industrious apprentice if you’re going to be a poet. You’ve got to pretend to be an industrious apprentice but really steal time from the boss. Or from your wife, or somebody, you see. The time’s got to come from somewhere. And also this passivity, this ‘waitingness,’ has to be achieved some way. It can’t be treated as a job. It’s got to be treated as a non-job or an anti-job.”

-Interview with Richard B. Sale (1969)

QOL: human

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