read this but with the names

I never used to write about anything close to home. One of the best pieces of writing advice I got very very early on, that I gleefully ignored, was to keep writing about fishing and small town life and family. I didn’t put much thought into the exercise of it, or I didn’t reflect much on the act. I wrote “my uncle the fisherman” because I thought it was funny, back when I first started. It was funny and it was true, and people liked it. When my grandmother, my father’s mother, was dying I started writing “A Slow Process”, the middle section of the book. I wrote it on pieces of computer paper as things happened, and used initials instead of names. That year I got to go to Banff and work with Lorna Crozier, and she said to me, “Read this but with the names,” then, “isn’t that much better?” She was right.

- Chris Bailey, in conversation with Amanda Ghazale Aziz over at the Invisible Press blog. You can read the whole thing here.

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