Sedaris on Writing

Onion: Does being a full-time writer limit your experiences and give you less to write about?

David Sedaris: Yes. It was never a goal of mine to be a full-time writer. I know other people who would never feel that they were a writer as long as they had another job, but I never felt that way. You meet people who say, “Oh, I’d like to do such-and-such, but I don’t have the time.” But it always seemed to me like you make the time. And if you have a wife or a job, if you have kids or whatever, you find a way. If you really want to do it, you make the time. When you have nothing but time, it’s not nearly as satisfying. I don’t have any place I need to be. I don’t really fit in anywhere.

O: Have you considered any plans to remedy the situation, like going undercover?

DS: I don’t really do very well when I’m sent somewhere. A lot of magazines want to send you somewhere to do something. They want you to stow away on a ship, or something like that. And it’s never really worked for me, because it’s homework, basically. When you’re in the situation, you’re looking too hard for what’s strange about it. What’s strange is that you’re stowing away on a ship in the first place. For money. When you write things like that, you always have to make it sound like you just decided to stow away on a ship. Which, if you’re the kind of person who decides to just stow away on a ship, they probably wouldn’t have asked you to write the article. So, yeah, I don’t do very well when I’m sent somewhere to do something. I would like to get a volunteer job, because I don’t have any working papers. That would give me a place that I needed to be, and it wouldn’t really matter to me what it is, as long as I’d be around other people. If they sent me out to clean graffiti off of mailboxes, that wouldn’t be satisfying, because I would be by myself, and part of the goal is to improve my French. So I’d like some kind of a little job where I was with people. Like old people, or retarded people. I’d do anything. It wouldn’t matter to me.

The Onion A.V. Club

For those that don’t know, The A.V. Club is the Onion’s legit section, featuring great interviews with various creative types.

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