That is the practice I learned to develop, the practice of becoming a writer – Vivian Gornick

I slowly taught myself to find the right distance. Not too far away, not too close. That’s a lifetime of writing. From the very beginning, I saw myself as a personal journalist. That means that I am the narrator, that I am the instrument of illumination. So I would write, The other night, at a dinner party, blah blah blah happened. I would describe what happened, and then I’d make sense of it. I would write a commentary and the analysis that justified my having described the evening and put myself in. The task for me was to decide on the proportions, the degree to which I was in the story. Most personal journalists failed at this because they started writing about themselves, confessionally or therapeutically. That was the fashion of the time, and still is. They didn’t realize that the game was that you use yourself just enough to tell the story. – Vivian Gornick