Margaret Atwood on Writing 6 comments


Margaret Atwood

The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.

Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin: A Novel

If you assumed no one would ever read what you’re writing, what would change about what and how you write? What if you tried it?


6 thoughts on “Margaret Atwood on Writing

  • Despina

    I’m pretty sure I write everything as if no one will read it. What’s the point in holding back? Writing is the most honest I’ll ever be with myself and the world and it’s 50% “I don’t care what anyone thinks” and 50% “holy shit, everyone will think I’m crazy/stupid”. Writing is the end-all be-all of catharsis so let it flow uninhibited!

    • Shaula Evans Post author

      > I’m pretty sure I write everything as if no one will read it. What’s the point in holding back?

      Well, that would certainly be in character… ;)

      Good! More power to you!

  • jay

    Ooooh, now _this_ I like. I never achieve it; I always write exactly as if the person paying me is standing over my shoulder. But goddamn, this is the dream all right.

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