Writing Advice: No one knows anything

What it is about the writer’s role in particular that awakens public interest in their daily lives is hard to say, but there must be something, since this doesn’t happen with other comparable professions. Maybe it has to do with the fact that everyone can write and read while at the same time there is something exalted about the role of the writer, and that this gap, which seems incomprehensible, must be bridged. Or it may have to do with the fact that writing is voluntary, and that a person who writes can always refrain from doing so, which is unthinkable in the case of an employee, and therefore obscure or tempting. When I was young I read interviews with writers with avid interest. I wasn’t looking for a method, I don’t think; what I wanted to find out was rather what it took. A pattern, a common denominator: what makes a writer a writer? Now I know that all writers are amateurs, and that perhaps the only thing they have in common is that they don’t know how a novel, a short story or a poem should be written. This fundamental uncertainty creates the need for habits, which are nothing other than a framework, scaffolding around the unpredictable.

Karl Ove Knausgaard, from the entry, “Habits,” in Winter

Have been trying to find my way forward with a couple of different writing projects right now – whether to start, whether to continue, whether to quit (the various experiments found here on the blog included). So, I enjoyed stumbling across this section when re-reading Karl Ove Knausgaard’s Winter (I recommend reading it “in season”) with its reminder that in the end no one knows anything.