Joyce Carol Oates, The Art of Fiction


I love reading about famous peoples’ processes. I look for meaning in their rituals and routines in hopes of finding wisdom that will make me more productive. Joyce Carol Oates an excellent productivity role model: she’s written over 40 novels, as well as a number of plays and novellas, and many volumes of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction.

In particular, I love Oates’ thoughts on journaling. As an avid journaler, I love reviewing past years and looking for patterns.

All of us who keep journals do so for different reasons, I suppose, but we must have in common a fascination with the surprising patterns that emerge over the years—a sort of arabesque in which certain elements appear and reappear, like the designs in a well-wrought novel. The voice of my journal is very much like the one I find myself using in these replies to you: the voice in which I think or meditate when I’m not writing fiction.

Read: “Joyce Carol Oates, The Art of Fiction,” The Paris Review 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.