Today's Lorrie Moore's birthday. Here she is in The Paris Review 15 years ago.
What an odd interview. What a delight. ❤️
In general, if a person were to watch me work—which I am grateful no one ever has—I suspect it might look like a lot of cutting and pasting of notes, stopping, starting, staring, intermittent flurries (as the weatherpeople say), sudden visitations (by invisible forces), the contemplation of the spines of various dictionaries and reference books stacked behind the computer, and much reheating of cold coffee (a metaphor and not a metaphor). But what it feels like is running as far as I can with a voice, a tuneful patch of a long, nagging idea. It is a daily struggle that doesn’t even always occur daily. From the time I first started writing, the trick for me has always been to construct a life in which writing could occur.
Well, it is possible to believe that the busier and more disorganized a writer’s life, the easier it is to write a novel as opposed to a short story. To write a short story, you have to be able to stay up all night. To read it all in one sitting and at some point see the whole thing through in a rush is part of the process. There’s urgency and wholeness in stories.
Could you talk about the moment you decided to become a writer, if there was one that you can put your finger on? Or was it always obvious?
It’s never always obvious.
Some writers seem to think it was inevitable—they were writing poems when they were five and never stopped.
Does that mean it’s obvious? I’d like to see some of those poems.
So you don’t feel you were destined to it, that you had no other choice but to be a writer?
Well, that’s all very romantic, and I can be as romantic as the next person. (I swear.) ...
-Lorrie Moore, The Art of Fiction No. 167