From the Paris Review’s video series – My First Time
Sheila’s original ambition was to become a playwright. She started writing stories after being kicked out/quitting theater school.
To master the writing process, Sheila would sit and write 6 or 7 stories in a row, as fast as she could type. Her thought was if she wrote hundreds of stories, then 20 or 30 would be good, exactly how they were written.
Sheila is all about lists.
She’d write down lists of titles of all the fables she could find. For the title of her first book, she wrote down hundres of titles to generate ideas.
She’d also sketch out book covers with the titles in them, to help visualize the finished book.
I have to work harder than any other writer in the world. I just wanted so badly to figure this out. To figure out how to write.Sheila Heti