Most writers… do their best work in their first twenty years of writing… Many exceptions, but I’d say that’s by and large the case. What happens with writers is they start repeating themselves, and they have less experience, they stay home all the time. They just get bogged down in their private lives and then if they travel they’re usually going to literary festivals or conferences or giving readings or lectures or whatever at universities. That’s not going to give you a very broad sample of human existence. They tend not to take risks… You’ve had basically all your experience the first thirty, thirty-five years of life.
[Susan Sontag, from Illness as Metaphor via Ramona Koval]
UPDATE: Ramona Koval has started following me back on twitter which is quite the thrill. I also discovered she has a blog with lots and lots of good stuff on it.
4 thoughts on “Ramona Koval talking to Susan Sontag”
That’s depressing. I hope I have a few more good years of experiencing new stuff and writing even better. I don’t want to be told by such a great as Sontag that it’s all over. (Sob.)
I took it as twenty years of published writing! So all the decades before hand, pottering, thinking not doing, taking notes and diarising everything do not count!
Well they count towards future work but they don’t count in the twenty years.
Oh look I’m talking to myself.