Happy Birthday, Ayelet Waldman, born 11 December 1964
Ayelet Waldman - Eight Quotes On Writing and Reading
- Forget discovery. Think about discipline. Writing is a habit — a physical habit. You can’t wait for the muse — you must just sit down at the same time every day and do your work. Remember Anne Lamott’s fabulous advice: All you need to do is write a shitty first draft. That’s it. The rest — good drafts, publication, etc. — will follow.
- Jane Austen taught me that you can write elegantly and with great humor about traditionally female concerns. Marriage, family, love.
- I have no rituals, but I have a phobia. I hate desks. I write in an armchair or on a couch, with my laptop on my lap. That’s probably why I have so many repetitive stress problems!
- Writing saved me when I left my job to be with my kids. It was the distraction I needed, the thing I had that was separate from the kids.
- While I’m working I listen to minimalist classical music pretty much exclusively. Steve Reich is my favorite. There’s a piece called “Music for 18 Musicians” that I will always listen to when I’m stuck on something.
- I’ve always written about maternal ambivalence. It’s the subject that consumes me.
- Names are important in terms of how you construct your characters’ identity, … But the First Amendment is more important than anything.
- I only have one rule when it comes to fiction: I don’t read writers that are worse than me. And that leaves so much to read. I’ll never run out of books.
Ayelet Waldman, a former public defender, is married to fellow author, Michael Chabon. She broke out with her series of Mommy-Track mysteries. She has written the beautiful stand-alone novels, Daughter’s Keeper and Love and Other Impossible Pursuits.
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