Sheila Heti

Literary Birthday – 25 December – Sheila Heti

Happy Birthday, Sheila Heti, born 25 December 1976.

10 Quotes On Writing

  1. That’s part of why people see shrinks, isn’t it? They help you rewrite your story? People should go see novelists instead.
  2. Writing has always been mixed up with performance for me, but if you understand yourself to be in relation to the people around you, and to the world around you, the audience for the performance expands. And this is a culture of performance, right? There are personas everywhere. For a fiction writer, you can choose: you can play with character, or, like the entire culture, you can play with persona. Persona is a social performance, while character is really make-believe.
  3. I’ve always used a computer. I usually write in this middle room in the place where I live. I always usually just write in whatever apartment I’m living in. I don’t write in cafés or anything like that. I can’t imagine it. I don’t write with music on. I don’t like having people around. That’s pretty typical.
  4. It’s just work. It’s a certain kind of work, but it still is work. You have to put in a lot of time, but I don’t think superstition comes into it. I don’t think magic comes into it, apart from the magic that comes into it when you work.
  5. If I’m reading a book, and it’s not funny, I seriously have doubts as to whether it could be a great piece of literature, because a huge part of life is that it’s funny. In many ways, it’s the only redeeming thing about life.
  6. What I like about plays is that there’s not a lot of time spent describing what something looks like. I am not a fan of writing description because I don’t notice things.
  7. I think you have to write whatever you want to write and not worry about how you’re going to come off or how you’re going to appear.
  8. Well, the world isn’t sitting around waiting for your books. The world is taking care of children and making money to pay the rent and eating dinner. If you don’t write your books, pretty much who cares? There are already more than enough good books for any reading person. You do it because you want to, not because the world is begging you.
  9. I do think one can write about one’s own time, probably that’s the only thing one can write about, because one is one’s own time. You don’t even have to think about it. You just are it.
  10. I’ve always known that women writers and male writers are looked at through different lenses, but so are male athletes and female athletes, and so are mothers and fathers. On a certain level, I think we’ll always have that.

Sheila Heti is a Canadian writer and editor. She is the author of five books; three books of fiction, a children’s book, and a work of non-fiction with Misha Glouberman. Her works include How Should a Person Be?

Source for Image

Infrogmation of New Orleans, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 25th December 2013