“Of all the mental states one might find oneself in when sitting down to write, anxiety may very well be the worst of them. Of course we can’t always approach the page with a sense of inner calm, of ease, of a mind ironed clean. Sometimes we’re agitated–though a little agitation goes a long way. Rage, grief, longing, joy, frustration–all these have their place, though it’s best not to write from the center of these feelings, but rather, from the recollection of them. But anxiety is, as far as I’m concerned, the enemy. It makes us write too fast, or too prolifically, or too self-consciously. I’ve seen more writers, over the years, felled by their own anxiety, by which I mean a very particular kind of anxiety: I need to get published, I need recognition, I need it now, or I will die.”
Dani’s new book, Devotion, comes out in February.