Lying Awake was as good as I hoped. Mark Salzman writes so concisely and clearly that there are no wrong notes. His writing seems simple. And yet, when I looked for articles about him, I found that it took him six years to research, write, and re-write the book. Some of the time he wrote in his car with a towel wrapped around his head to make things quiet, and aluminum foil on his lap to keep his cats from climbing up. Perhaps his writing is good because of what he leaves out.
Making a Literary Life by Carolyn See is funny and very discouraging because it is extraordinarily realistic. She is writing about being a full-time writer and what it takes, and I find I don’t really want to do all that. There is the reality of writing letters, and doing talks, and promoting books, and doing articles about things. I have a job, and it’s teaching. I also just want to write. In this I am not alone, I know.
At least I write, which most would-be writers do not, and I have published two books, even if it was almost by accident.