Scott Gold on How Literary Agent Job Reshaped Writing Ambitions


>>Erik: How did your first job out of college
as a literary agent contribute to your progression as a writer?>>Scott: It taught me about the business of
books and the business of writing, first of all. It taught what good non fiction writing
is and what good fiction writing is. As opposed to the things that are mediocre or uninspiring,
which is if I`m going to strive for anything it`s not for greatness, it`s to strive away
from mediocrity. Which is a difficult thing to describe, but my goals the way I like to
write, I try to be an entertaining writer. I know that I`m not James Joyce, I`m not a
titan of American literature, not William Gass, I just want to tell a story and tell
it well. And I had an opportunity to work with a number of journalists in an editorial
capacity working with them on their non fiction book proposals and it really it was wonderful
to get to write with really wonderful talented journalists who wrote great non fiction. It
was great to see the unpolished product. And it was great to see their first drafts. And
they weren`t as polished and gleaming that you`d see in their work at the LA Times or
New York Times or Time Magazine. And it was great to be able to be in a capacity to help
shape and hone and work with their product, work with their words to help them achieve
a product to where they were happy with what they did. It gave me the tools as an editor
that are always extraordinarily helpful when youÕre a writer so when you treat your words
as so precious you don`t want anyone messing with them, it makes it really difficult when
you have a good editor, you want to be able to have that editor work with you because
they know what theyÕre doing.

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