The author of the unforgettable story collection The News from Spain explains the tough realities we all need to figure out. By Joan Wickersham
1. You Have A Good Girl And A Bad Girl Inside You, And The Good Girl Is Usually The One Who Gets You Into Trouble
The good girl waits to be called on. She takes no for an answer. She doesn’t want to disturb anyone. She carries maturity and good citizenship to the point of paralysis. She holds herself in check, tells herself, "Don’t you dare." The bad girl dares. The bad girl shocks me, and I have a lot to thank her for. She said, "I love you," and she said it first. She said, "I quit this job." She said, "I’ve been working on this book for eight years and it stinks and I’m throwing out the manuscript and starting over." When I look back at the things I regret -- the jobs I wanted and didn’t go after, the editors with whom I never got in touch, the misunderstandings I didn’t try to clear up, the interesting people I never talked to -- I can see how often the good girl was in charge: cautious and correct, and wrong.