Q. What’s the best bit of advice about writing you’ve ever gotten?

A. What George Plimpton told me in a letter when, many years ago—I think it was 1966, and I’d sent him a story for a Paris Review contest and a novel for Paris Review Editions (its first incarnation): “You’re not a novelist and maybe you’re not a short story writer as well.” I won’t say this is good advice for every writer, but it sure got me to write even harder than I was. It got me going in a way that flattery or praise wouldn’t have: I knew I had to inure myself against all criticism of my work and just write what I wanted to write and take the consequences, and also to write better than I was doing.”

–Stephen Dixon, in interview, One Story (issue #16, 20 February 2003)

About Walter Biggins

Walter Biggins is a writer based in Athens, GA. His work has been published in, Bookslut, The Comics Journal, Salon, The Baseball Chronicle, Jackson Free Press, and Valley Voices: A Literary Review. Follow him on Twitter (@walter_biggins), and check out his bimonthly newsletter (
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