The Awl has this series where they revisit careers of respected writers who maybe had not so hot beginnings. This one’s on Joan Didion. I just love her. Every criticism I can find of her is something I love about her (usually about her being a cold woman and/or a crummy mom).
This lesson: Screw ‘em. Write the crap in your head that keeps spinning around and can’t get out. In fact, that should be why you write. To get that out. And money.
Update: I feel like a bit of a dick for feeling this, but I’m listening to a 45 minute interview with Didion about Blue Nights, which is the book about the death of her daughter. My sweet, brilliant, Lord of the Flies is very much alive, but her expressions about dealing with well-meaning friends and family and grief (autism has caused me a greater degree of grief than all the deaths I’ve experienced combined, and I’ve experienced quite a bit of death) rang truer than any specific autism recollection I’ve ever heard. She unknowingly acknowledges and permits my grief. She relates, or I related to her. Regardless, I feel less alone. Finally.
To write the book I’ve been working on about Jack, and been blocked about, I may need to read and process Blue Nights. I dunno.