JONG: They are very different and they don't conflict with each other. There is a sense that poetry comes from the intuitive part of the brain. It is much more pleasurable and euphoric than writing a novel. You feel that you are tapping into the source of unconscious creativity. Nearly every poet that you talk to will tell you that it is, in a sense, an automatic process.
Writing a novel is a much more conscious thing. It's a daily job. You go to your desk at nine in the morning and work until three or four. I would say that one day out of ten you feel euphoric and the words just fly off of your fingers. The other nine days you wonder how the hell you are going to move your heroine from one place to another and what adventures will take place along the way. You find that a good part of your day is taken up inventing and devising and that most of the time you don't think it is any good.
Welcome to my wild rumpus through the Writer's Digest archives, in which I'm posting an excerpt each day throughout March.
Today's exhibit: a circa June 1981 WD Interview with poet/bestselling novelist Erica Jong, who had no Fear of Flying (interview by John L. Kern).
WD: What are the differences in disciplines between writing poetry and prose?
Join me tomorrow when I realize why my job description listed: "must be able to lift 20 lbs."