Just Put the Story Out There Into the Universe

In his tribute to Nora Ephron in The New Yorker, Nathan Englander shares some observations on the art and craft of writing I’d like to share with you.


He wrote: “It’s that the goal of the true craftsperson is simply to put story out into the universe—to find the tales that really count and to tell them in the form they demand.”

Isn’t that really what a writer tries to do? Send a story “out into the universe.” I know I’m guilty of of keeping my stories hidden from the universe for any number of reasons, most often because I am not satisfied with them. But what writer is?


I have just finished editing a story that began life 20 years ago. The original idea has morphed into something that can only be appreciated if one applies the six degrees of separation rule. The story is now ready to be launched into the universe, but 20 years?


That’s ridiculous. But what’s worse is I have a story that’s been written in some form for 30 years that has yet to see the light of day. 


So you can see, I’ve been on this journey through the writing life for some time. And I admit it has existed in my head, for the most part. But now I’m ready to go “out into the universe.”


This is why I think his conclusion seems to timely for me right now:


“You set out to do something, and to do it right. And if it doesn’t come out exactly as planned—you don’t just live with it, you find a way to make it even better than it would have been before.” 

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