Wise Words from Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith: "Put it in a drawer."

One of PopSerious's correspondents was at a lecture at Columbia University yesterday, where writer Zadie Smith (White Teeth) gave a lecture on "Feeling Fraudelent." Below, some wise words by the author. We love this kind of thing. So far, the best advice about writing we ever got was "Sometimes you just have to puke over the side and keep rowing." This is close competition:

On the subject of finishing a novel (or for those writers out there squeamish about the N-word, “a piece”), Smith said you should “step away from the vehicle.” Put it in a drawer. Do not publish it–-do not even read it–-until you absolutely have to. The most important reader of your work is not yourself who has written it, or an editor who has seen ten drafts of it already, but a complete stranger, and if you can keep the thing in a drawer long enough chances are that you’ll become that stranger yourself.

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