Run your own race.

In an interview in the February 2014 issue of The Writer magazine, interviewer Alicia Anstead asked Monica Wood, “One of the nuns who taught you as a child said explorers should have courage, goals, imagination and, finally, humility. Which of these is most important for a writer, and why?”

Monica answered: “I have a sign in my studio:  Run your own race. Some other writer will always write lovelier books, reach more readers, make more money, win more awards. the writing trade – which is full, full, full of rejections and failure – is a lifelong lesson in humility, and we are wise to take that lesson into the other arenas of our life. Writing is engaging, gratifying and often profoundly discouraging and difficult. But not as discouraging and difficult as coal mining or warfare.”

Monica Wood is the author of When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico, Maine, her story about growing up in the 1960s in a Catholic family in a mill town in northern New England.


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