Midlife crisis, multiplied

I don’t read Judith Warner much these days because even though she’s a very good writer, her views on gender grate on my nerves, but this essay really impacted me. Not sure why. Certainly I identify with her thought (during the Faulkner seminar) that she wished she could “stay [t]here forever”. Is there any better mode of escapism than sitting in a classroom whilst a favorite professor waxes eloquent on the virtues of a piece of literature? So is what I am feeling envy (jealousy even?) over the fact that, like me, she loved the written word from a tender age but then, unlike me, went on to pursue and excel in a writing career? No, I think the reason I am feeling so deflated is because I read this and think, How could I have deluded myself into believing I could ever get anything published? My writing is SO mediocre compared with this. Common wisdom says that constant consumption of exemplary writing is essential in making one a better writer, but it just makes me feel incompetent.



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