A lot of writers, probably because they’re sensitive, which makes them want to be writers, have fears about their masculinity, so they overcompensate by having an interest in boxing and tough-guy things.
A lot of writing is a form of seeing – putting down what you see in terms of action and landscape.
As a child, I wanted to be an athlete, a professional tennis player or something like that.
Even when I was living below the poverty line as a novelist, I was still living better than 99.5% of the human population of the world. But in my little, soft realm of trying to amuse a few dozen middle-class people with my books and articles, I did struggle to survive in my own way.
For me, books have always been a way to feel less alone while being alone. Perhaps if I was depressed and isolated, just communicating with these authors through their sentences helped me.
For me, the past is dead. Can’t go back.
Having a show get canceled is like, ‘Oh, you have caviar between your teeth,’ you know what I mean? Because you had a show in the first place.
I am always the source of the worst rumors about myself.
I am part of a vast generation of people who perpetually live as if they just graduated from college.
I didn’t play or like a lot of board games as a child. I liked playing with my G.I. Joes and making up adventures for them.
I don’t have ADD, but I only like to pay attention to the things I like to pay attention to, and things like getting a TV and getting the cable working are beyond me, and so I let such things lapse, sometimes for years. This applies to keeping my apartment clean.
I don’t know that I’ve gotten much feedback directly from the literary world; sometimes I doubt even the notion that there is a literary world, though I guess there is or was.
I don’t laugh that much, but I do like humorous books, and I like to entertain readers that way.
I don’t like rides. I take everything in life quite literally, and so I genuinely feel terrified on rides and liable to vomit at any moment, and I hate to vomit even more than I fear rides.
I don’t like to publicly acknowledge being a Jew.
I don’t mind being ridiculed – well, I guess I would mind a little, but it would only last a few minutes – it’s all very ephemeral; it doesn’t really matter what people think of me.
I don’t really recognise success. I don’t see myself as on an upwardly mobile trajectory. I see myself as on the edge of a cliff about to fall off.
I drink coffee. Without coffee, I probably couldn’t write.
I grew up in northern New Jersey – the banlieue of New York – and I now live in Brooklyn. I am separated from my parents by about 50 miles, but really there is almost no distance between us. I speak to them nearly every day.
I have very few hobbies. In fact, I have no hobbies.
I might have some sort of personality disorder. I might not have proper filters; it might be some kind of version of Asperger’s meets Tourettes meets prose.
I need to stay in the present and use that new-age mantra: ‘I’m okay right now.’ But I worry about all the things I’m failing at every moment.
I promote my own self-hatred.
I wish I was the kind of writer who would go to a war zone and write about something that’s meaningful and important to people, but that’s not my area of coverage.
I’m a somewhat isolated person in my own way, or I move along a little trail, I go this place, I go that place. It’s not like I’m varying my exposure.
I’m actually much more shy and self-conscious than people’s perception of me.
I’ve always been inspired by Don Quixote as a role model of sorts, of the power of books to sort of make you insane in maybe a beautiful way.
I’ve always liked police-blotter kind of writing, or the writing of a policeman, right to the point and hardboiled. That’s how I see at least the prose elements of scriptwriting.
I’ve really never written about my relationships, or things like that. I wouldn’t want to divulge things that were too private.
It’s hard for me to think of writing a novel, because it takes so long.
It’s hard to leave New York: this is where my friends are, my parents are. It is so vital. The whole world seems to look to New York.
Mostly I have to try to censor myself so as not to write things that will hurt other people, or that will go too far.
No, I’m not very productive at all. I’m probably like an animal. I mean, great animals in the ocean feed all the time. I’m someone who procrastinates, worries, for most of a month, and then I’ll have a flurry of manic productivity with a sense of great urgency and fear for, like, two days.
Now, all writing – all the arts – are a form of ‘Pay attention to me,’ but there’s also the flip side. Like, I want to give something. Let me entertain you, let me amuse you, let me try to please you with this thing I’ve made. And then pay attention to me.
Something has happened where you almost never grow up in America. Maybe it’s the greater wealth.
The reason it’s hard for me to tweet is I don’t want to pronounce anything, and Twitter is for pronouncing.
There are so many talented young writers named Jonathan, with whom by comparison I suffer terribly.
There’s no shortage of material in life.
To write about a place, you have to live there.
Twitter is so severe, you know? And it’s completely for free, it’s scattershot, and it’s very easy to feel embarrassed. It’s hard to be artful with it. It’s like a ticker tape. It’s not a forum that’s worth mastering, you know?
When I was in college, I had the good fortune to have Joyce Carol Oates as my writing teacher. She told me that I could take an aspect of myself, and from that one bit of personality, I can create a character. This is what I have done, particularly in my novels.