In the words of Anderson: “It was 2008. I had taken a year and a half hiatus from law school at the University of Pennsylvania and moved half-way across the world (maybe further), to Doha, Qatar. I had been granted a Fulbright Fellowship by the U.S. Department of State, and in between conducting my research, teaching at Qatar University, battling intermittent internet access and exploring the country (camel races, cross country motorcycle rides, visiting the souqs, etc.), I found myself with extra time on my hands and, for the first time in my life, an insatiable desire to write.
“I’ve always been an “ideas guy.” But I soon found out that writing was more than simply putting ideas on paper. There is not only an art to it, but a science. A writer must understand concepts such as show, don’t tell, proportion, beats, characterization and exposition, and voice. My earliest attempts at writing left a lot to be desired.
“But when you work hard at something, anything, eventually you will get a break. Mine came in the form of a really pretty girl (one who I eventually married). She was a writing major and taught English at the university level. She showed an interest in my writing and, through much cajoling, convinced me to read the first few chapters of my first book to her. Then she re-organized it, slashed dross, and re-read it to me. A light went on in my head. From then on I was on the path toward becoming a true writer.”
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