Paul Lisicky’s Nugget: “Your hurts can end up taking care of you”

BLOG,Nuggets March 8, 2012 23:11

Meet Paul Lisicky. We were so excited to have this writer share his nuggets of wisdom with us. We’re planning on following his advice (and we think you should too). Paul’s recommendations are straightforward:

1. appreciate the process; 2. let curiosity and dedication guide you; and 3. allow your hurts to heal you.

What we loved most about his answers – in addition to the fact they were so unaffected  – is that he admitted to being 52 in clock time and 34 in emotional time. (We at PenTales are all late 20s in clock time and 12 in emotional time. Clock time is just not the best way to measure age.)

Some background on Paul: He received his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, holds a slew awards, and is the author of many a books, including the forthcoming “Unbuilt Projects.”

1. Who is your hero and why?

My friend Elizabeth McCracken for her smarts and wisdom and sass and kindness and loyalty and humor. She’s been a great friend to me since grad school. She’s also one of my heroes as a writer. You should read her memoir AN EXACT REPLICA OF A FIGMENT OF MY IMAGINATION.

2. What was your dream job when you were a child?

I wanted to build neighborhoods. As a kid I spent hours designing the houses and laying out the streets and lakes on posterboard. The streets were built into forests and marshes and bogs. I wanted to make places to live where animals and trees weren’t somewhere out there, but with us.

3. Is there any motto you follow? What’s something that you think always holds true?

Your hurts can end up taking care of you if you let them.

4. What do you wish you’d known 10 / 20 / 30 years ago?

I wish I’d known the books I’d wanted to write would get written and published. I spent a lot of energy trying, coaxing, worrying things into being when they weren’t quite ready. I think process is much more interesting to me now than the final product. The real excitement is in the making.

5.What’s something your parents told you that turned out to be right?

I’m not sure they actually said it, but my parents were great respectors of dedication and curiosity. What else takes care of you? Those two things.

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