The Phoenix features an interview with Heidi Julavits, editor of the Believer, novelist and shrill-or-maybe-not essayist:
I just find it so fascinating that this thing that people feel they need to bring into the world, is actually nothing that they themselves would have anything to do with. It’s sort of like being an architect and building a house that you would never consider living in.
That’s why writers always get asked what kind of pencils they use, because everyone thinks they can do it themselves.
And the thing is that they probably could do it themselves. It’s the strangest thing. It’s not like being a harpsichord player or a composer. It is and isn’t something that you need to train for. I mean, it is something that you need to train for, but, in theory, if you’ve just been a person in the world who has read a lot, and presumably you can spell and speak a language, therefore you have the tools, you have the training. If you’re not a reader then that becomes more problematic. That’s where it starts to mystify me.
More from her on editing, writing and other important stuff here.
(photo by Mark Ostow)