Not once a writer, always a writer, not for Ocean Vuong

7 June 2023

In ten years’ time Vietnamese born American author Ocean Vuong may not be a writer anymore. For all anyone knows, including possibly Vuong himself, he might be a software engineer by then. Speaking to British journalist, and writer for The Guardian, Kadish Morris, Vuong says he might reach a point where he’s happy with what he has written, and decide to stop:

I may be alone in thinking this, but I truly don’t believe that a writer should just keep writing as long as they’re alive. I see my career not by how much I can produce but by how the work can get me to where I can meaningfully stop and be satisfied with what I’ve done. I’m more interested in stopping well rather than endlessly creating.

Vuong’s titles to date are On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, a novel he wrote in 2019, and Time is a Mother, a collection of poetry published in 2022.

Aside from perhaps being intrinsic to their nature, people possibly remain lifelong writers on account of the difficulty in becoming one in the first place.


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