Writing a Novel vs. Making an Album

Question: What made you\r\nwant to write a novel?


Josh Ritter: I\r\nreally have wanted to do it for a long time and I’ve started and I’ve \r\nworked on\r\na number of different things that were all just terrible. \r\n But I got this idea when I was working\r\non “So Runs the World Away,” and I had this idea as I started writing \r\nthe song, and it was\r\nway too long a song.  It was about\r\na guy who has an angel who tells him to do things. Not necessarily a \r\nguardian\r\nangel, but it was a long song, and it was pretty overwrought and I \r\nrealized it\r\nneeded a lot more subtlety, more subtlety that I can get into a song. \r\nAnd so I\r\nstared writing and I wrote 1,000 words a day for 50 or 55 days and then I\r\n had\r\nthis big rough draft.  And then\r\nafter that, it was just, you know, keep on going over it and over it.  And it really is, it’s like you’re\r\nwriting a really long song.  Every\r\nword kind of matters and if it doesn’t feel right you’ve got to work \r\nuntil it\r\ndoes.  So, yeah, I’m very excited. \r\n It’s coming out next year.


Question: Which is\r\nharder, writing a novel or making an album?


Josh Ritter:\r\nWell, putting together an album is a group effort, you know?  Luckily you have a number of people\r\nthat can help and everything from helping you to record it to—I write a \r\nsong\r\nand I bring it to my band and I say, let’s like open this up and fiddle \r\naround\r\nwith it, and I’m so lucky to have that, people to help record it.  But with a novel, it’s you’re kind of\r\ngoing across the page alone and there’s been times when that’s been \r\nreally\r\ntremendous.  It’s like running;\r\nit’s like a solitary thing.  And\r\nother times, it’s just really terrifying.

Recorded April 5, 2010
Interviewed by Austin \r\nAllen

Both are hard, but for the musician and author, one was "terrifying."

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