Sam Shepard On Writing

1. The great thing for me, now, is that writing has become more and more interesting. Not just as a craft but as a way into things that are not described.

2. I think without writing I would feel completely useless.

3. I’ve heard writers talk about ‘discovering a voice’, but for me that wasn’t a problem. There were so many voices that I didn’t know where to start.

4. My first job was with the Burns Detective Agency. They sent me over to the East River to guard coal barges during these god-awful hours like three to six in the morning. It wasn’t a very difficult job — all I had to do was make a round every fifteen minutes — but it turned out to be a great environment for writing. I was completely alone in a little outhouse with an electric heater and a little desk.

5. I’m a writer. The more I act, the more resistance I have to it. If you accept work in a movie, you accept to be entrapped for a certain part of time, but you know you’re getting out. I’m also earning enough to keep my horses, buying some time to write.

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