Adam Prince and the Myth of Inspiration

The Story Prize interviews Adam Prince, author of the short story collection The Beautiful Wishes of Ugly Men, about his thoughts on talent and inspiration: “I think inspiration is largely a myth. It’s tied to the myth of talent, which makes writers seem like we’re special people, sage-types who channel the infinite. Of course, I’m flattered when people tell me I’m talented, but I don’t really believe it. When I started writing, my work was terrible: overintellectual, overdramatic, unclear, pompous, abstract . . . And more than anything resembling talent, what I had going for me was a great interest in writing and an even greater fear of failure. I was bad, but I was willing to work really hard to get good. So when my students turn in a story that doesn’t go over too well in workshop, I tell them not to worry—that my own writing was much, much worse.” Click here to read the entire interview, and here to buy a copy of Adam’s incredible book.

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