If you’ve read Meghan Daum’s terrific essay in the Sept. 29 New Yorker on her decision to remain childless (one of Storyboard’s most recent weekend picks), you’ll want to take a look at the follow-up interview with Daum the magazine has posted on its website–and if you haven’t read the essay, you should. The piece, which is part of a collection due out in November, grew, in part, from a desire to push the discussion of childlessness beyond glib stereotypes, Daum says. In the interview, she talks about the broader challenges of writing about her personal life, saying:

“I never sit down to write anything personal unless I know the subject is going to go beyond my own experience and address something larger and more universal. To me, having ‘material’ for an essay means not only having something to write about but also having something interesting and original to say about whatever that might be. I’ve learned over the years that being interested in a particular subject or story does not guarantee you’ll have anything worthwhile to say about it.”

In other topics, she discusses her love of Joni Mitchell, her attraction to lesbian culture and the unexpected advantages of being a writer based on Los Angeles:

“What Los Angeles gives me as a writer (and by that I mean a writer of printed material) is a certain irrelevance. I mean that in the best possible way. Even though there are a lot of journalists and authors and other non-screenwriter types here, even though (shocker alert) most of the population doesn’t work in a creative industry at all, the city’s legacy and reputation is so steeped in Hollywood that it sometimes feels like it doesn’t matter what the rest of us do. And that can be tremendously freeing.”

Further Reading

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