Alvarez on the Writing Life

Novelist Julia Alvarez writes in the Washington Post about writing, post September 11.

At different points in the writing of my new novel, which has been the hardest for me to write so far, I kept telling a friend who hears about all my writing woes that I didn’t think I could finish it. Now, I’m no stranger to the Furies of self-doubt, which have always been after me, and the race is always on as to whether they or I will make it through the next paragraph and the next. But since Sept. 11 these Furies seemed to have multiplied in number. What was my fear exactly? That I couldn’t put my arms around the whole thing. That I would yield to the temptation to leave things out, to tidy things up. That I would lower the blinds and write the very same novel I would have written before Sept. 11.