When I first moved to New York City people put me in touch with a lot of writers because I wanted to write. (Writing is kind of a funny thing to network because to be a writer you just have to write but anyway) I went. One of these writers was a woman who had just gotten her master’s in creative writing at Columbia. Her dissertation was a novel. It was good (I guess, I never read it). I think Maureen Dowd, like, backed her or something (I could be making this up). But basically it was good; it was on track to be published, but it died somewhere in the pipeline. She told me all of this in a dimly lit Brooklyn bar, sitting at a table with long benches on each side. She told me she was ghost writing now–some kind of young adult fantasy series–and at this rate she was barely making 20k per year. Luckily her partner made a lot of money.
That New York City fall evening, sitting at the bar, I decided: I could never get my master’s in creative writing. It would be too devastating to do all that and then fail to publish a book.
But for some reason it never crossed my mind to not write a book. I was always going to write a book.