Someone likes twenty four words I wrote—thirty nine with title plus “by Laura Ellen Scott.” (More on that the realer it gets.) But in the mean time I’m reminded that fiction writers can get hung up on quantity, an illusion of substance that inevitably leads to anxiety. The poets I know don’t fret about limited resources and commodity with regard to things made out of words. But with every semester I meet batches of new writers trembling under the weight of something—is it foggy careerism? So I ask them to embrace two notions, even if it’s just pretend: 1) it’s okay to be a big-letter-A “Artist,” and 2) you will never run out of stories.
They believe one of these things but not the other.