When did you decide to become a writer?

Question: When did you decide to become a writer?

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Keith Gessen: I guess I’ve always wanted to be one. For a long time, I didn’t know how to go about it. I had no idea. I would sit around- and this is a, certainly- this is in the book. It’s exaggerated in the book, but I spent a lot of time sitting around wondering if I was a writer, wondering if I was an intellectual.

And, you know, it turns out that the way you become an intellectual or a writer is- well, partly by sitting around and wondering if you are, and then, you know, beginning to try to do those things that a writer and intellectual does- reading and writing. And then you- you know, if you stick to it- <laughs> eventually, you know, you’ll either- you’ll become one of those things. You might not be very good at it- the jury is still out on that- but, you know, and one of the things you have to be ready for is that you’re not gonna make any money. So-

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Recorded: 3/18/08

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Gessen always wanted to be one, but it took him a while to sit down and start.

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