Jun 07 Written by 

The Death of Capacity: Having No Time to Write

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If no one else supports you financially, the work you must do to pay rent and bills makes it difficult or impossible to write. Your job might be one long daily grind, or marginal and multiple. Makes it hard to do your writing. Is that true or false?

True.

What drives my life, has always driven it, the real job beneath the job, is subverting the fate prepared for the writer in this society, and once I woke up to the reality, I took and cajoled and stole the time to write, and to finish and polish, because nobody was going to give it to me. If I was writing I would not "be there for them." And I published my own books because nobody was going to publish them for me. And I will use every tool in the box, or those that I find, to keep writing.

Back in the day there were books about this, one called Silences (1982) by Tillie Olsen, a short-story writer who completed only one slender book of fiction; her nonfiction study Silences is about the forces that keep writers from writing, about "the death of capacity," according to one reviewer.  People don't read or talk about this book any more, maybe because The Feminist Press is the publisher. Now available in its 25th-anniversary edition.
1098 Last modified on Monday, 13 June 2011
Catherine Rankovic

Writer, with 30+ years' writing and publishing experience, 20+ years' teaching experience. Last book read: Mrs. Lincoln by Catherine Clinton.