I came away from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Ford’s book-reading this afternoon at Powell’s with fascinating insight into his writing process, motivation for writing, and day-to-day life as a writer. Not to mention, I also scored an autographed copy of his latest novel, Canada, and a parking ticket – the latter of which did not come from Ford.
I wanted to share one thing Ford said, in particular. During the Q&A portion of Ford’s appearance, an audience member asked him whether he found imperfections in his work, now that it was on shelves. Ford answered the question in a roundabout way, noting he did the best he could in the time provided, and then released the book into the world.
In essence, he said he saw no point in holding the book two more years to see how he felt about it then.
“Do it now,” Ford said about his process. “Do the best you can. Get on with it.”
That’s a pretty good credo to live by, whether you’re writing a book or doing any number of things, I thought. Give what you have at that moment in time and then move on. I like it.