“Efforts at writing and reading followed by aboulia”

Photo by Jeffrey Thompson

Photo © Jeffrey Thompson

Charlie Baxter is the only person who could/would actually use the word “aboulia” in a sentence, right?

Check out this brief Q&A at the Daily Beast, in which Baxter talks about sweating out a good story, his daily 5 p.m. glass of wine, and cultivating a “fuck you” attitude.

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t point you toward this lengthy, in-depth interview with Baxter, conducted by Willow Springs during his 2009 appearance at the Get Lit! Festival in Spokane, WA.


“Fiction requires the heart and the mind and the guts and the genitals, and you have to set them all on fire.”



  • Sam Ligon Sam Ligon says:

    Great short interview. Great long interview, too. I had to look up aboulia.

  • Laura Citino Laura C. says:

    “My overbite has kept me from being really popular with women.”

    Ridiculous and amazing.

    Also, it’s really refreshing to hear a writer as accomplished as him say that his day consists of “attempts at reading and writing” instead of the “WAKE UP AT SEVEN AM EVERY DAY AND WRITE FOR FOUR AND A HALF HOURS” rigidity that I always feel like more accomplished/better writers than myself seem to handle.

    • Melissa says:

      Yeah, I’ve always loved how self-deprecating Baxter is. Sometimes it’s in a neurotic, nearly-uncomfortable way because you can tell a nerve has been hit– like the “funny” stories related to book tour? But I agree, he always says something that feels honest and refreshing.

  • Cathie Smathie says:

    I love this man.
    “..don’t quit. Cultivate a ‘fuck you’ attitude..”

    • Melissa says:

      That’s so funny that you say that– I love so many of Baxter’s answers, but I liked this one the least. I’m pretty tired of writers cultivating a “fuck you” attitude. It’s a posture everyone feels the need to adopt to cover our trembling, naked little egos.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *