“In praise of doubt and uselessness”

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I’m sharing an essay that I read this weekend by Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Sympathizer. He writes about how long it takes to write and to learn to write in the way one wants and the struggle of constantly getting it wrong and the faith it takes to persist. He also discusses the challenges of balancing critical and creative work and the desire to have them inform each other.

I’m in the middle of all of this right now — the part that feels like a slog. I love doing both critical and creative work, but everything is slow and difficult right now. It was nice to read someone so tremendously accomplished say Yes. Yes it’s hard. And yes, the work is worth it.

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