"When I’m stuck or feeling unmotivated, I turn to the drawers near my writing desk. They contain notes from past English classes and old spiral-bound journals. Reading the passionate scribbles of the student I used to be reminds me of the hunger that drove me to literature and writing in the first place. Sometimes, I also pull out an old paperback and revisit my notes in the margins, the underlines I made, the stars I jotted down, and the dog-eared pages. These stories belonged to me as well as the authors. I’m reminded that when we write, we don’t write for ourselves. Our work will eventually belong to others so that they, too, can mark the pages of our stories. Thinking of writing in this interactive sense makes the process less lonely and lets me turn to the keyboard again. I remember that I’m not reinventing the wheel. I’m simply joining a conversation that has already been started, adding a drop or two to the river of literature."—Marjan Kamali, author of Together Tea (Ecco, 2013)
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