Patti Smith says that writing is like exercise. You have to commit to doing it and you have to do it every day. UPDATE: Smith ended up winning the 2010 National Book Award for nonfiction. The complete list of winners is archived here.
We caught up with the musician/author at tonight’s 61st National Book Awards. Her memoir Just Kids is one of the nominees for the best nonfiction book of the year.
For Smith, writing is not about the amount of work she produces, it is about the quality. She said that some days she writes a couple of sentences and other days, a few pages. “I’m happy if I’ve written a couple of good sentences,” she said. “A couple of good sentences is better than a bunch of bad pages.” If feel like you can’t write, Smith recommends reading as a step in the right direction.