Meg Wolitzer

This week’s show asks writers to think about what sustains them, to consider whether they’re steady and whether they stay the course when it comes to their writing. Our guest, Meg Wolitzer, is one such steady writer, a “schleper” (which we’re defining as a very positive quality when it comes to writing) and an author who’s admirable for her steadfastness. Join us today to listen in to what she has to say about writing, staying the course, and how she thinks about her own rising star.


Meg Wolitzer is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Interestings, The Uncoupling, The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, The Wife, and Sleepwalking. She is also the author of the young adult novel Belzhar. Wolitzer lives in New York City.

The Takeaway: What Sustains You?

If you could write about anything, what would it be? And are you writing that thing? If so, what feels sustaining? Being sustained is different from being inspired, and it’s worth looking at that difference. To be sustained means that you’re working on something that supports you, that nurtures you. Being inspired suggests that the story has to work a little harder, that maybe it has to work for you, or has to stay interesting. Is a story being sustaining enough for you? And what associations come up when you think about sustenance? Jot down your thoughts, and consider whether this is enough? Can you stay motivated by the thing that sustains you? And, perhaps more important, is there something that might sustain you that you’ve written off in favor of something more inspiring? Don’t underestimate the power of sustaining—and your role as the supporter and holder of your story. In fact, you’re the only one who can truly sustain your story all the way through to the end. So gather up those resources for the long haul, writers, and have faith. You’ve got this, and there are readers out there waiting for your story.

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