Junot Diaz on Writing

A Grantland article on Junot Diaz stuck out to me for two main reasons.

One, it gave me permission to write at the pace that suits me.

So, yes, Junot Díaz writes slow: “You work and you throw out and you look and you hunt and you try to find a sentence. You spend a lot of time staring at a screen.” Yes, it’s tortured him that he writes slow.

Secondly, it speaks to the idea I’ve been pondering: Nothing comes out that doesn’t go in. If I want life in my work, then I have to live and experience life myself.

For Díaz, the paramount responsibility for the writer is to be living. “My friends always point out, ‘Junot never writes shit down. Junot never walks around with a pen.’ But if I looked at these kids as material, that’s a problematic relationship. They treat me normal. It’s good to be normal, bro.” His advice to young writers? “Don’t write a thing until you’re 29. Spend from now until 29 fully engaged with the world.”

The whole interview is here, although be forewarned of language choices that will offend some.

(Image from



  1. I really appreciate these words too, Tina. I am such a slow writer! How many times have I berated myself or wished I was another way? This gives me permission not only to accept myself as i am but celebrate it!

    Praying for you, sweet friend. You are on my heart tonight.

  2. spaghettipie

    Laura, yes! That gives me such hope…if a Pulitzer Prize winner can accept that writing slow is okay . . . 🙂

    Thanks so much for your prayers. They are greatly appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: