Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Lindsay Hunter

She studied with Sarah Levine, who taught her that writing each day is like jogging; the more you do it, the less painful it becomes to continue.

“There’s this sort of tropy, pedestal-bound view of the writer freaking toiling his balls off. And I say his, because it’s a he. You know? But that’s not where the actual writing is,” Hunter said. “I resent it because it gives people who really don’t identify with that kind of work style, but are actually really creative, brilliant people, it makes them feel like imposters, and they shouldn’t feel like imposters.”

“We all hear the same thing,” she continued. “If you’re a writer you must go to the desk for, you know, whatever, four hours a day, eight hours a day. It’s incredibly intimidating because I don’t want to go to the desk for that long most days. And now I really can’t. Does that mean I’m not a writer in your eyes?”

As Greg loses himself in the ebullience of Orlando—its strip malls and its cloying smells of processed sugars—he begins to see how his own struggles with impulse control and with bouts of heavy drinking might’ve impacted his son.

“It’s one of the first times in his life that he’s able to just think, and reflect,” Hunter said. “That’s why he has no real destination or no real plan. He’s just trying to figure it out.”

For Greg, figuring it out means relenting some of the control he has over his son’s life, which is something Hunter says she believes all parents struggle with.

As for his physical journey—his romp through the weirdness of Florida—Hunter says she’s repeatedly drawn to writing about her home state.

“You know, Florida is home. And even now—it’s starting to change a bit now that we have kids—but I think about home, I think about Florida,” Hunter said. “It’s such a rich place to write about. There’s Florida man, which everyone loves to make fun of, and everyone’s making dumbass political decisions. We’re just fucking weird. [But] growing up I didn’t really have the impression that we were the weirdos of the country. It was just like, ‘fuck you, we have Disney, man. We have beaches on both sides bitch.’ It was just a normal place.”

Hunter says there’s more to Florida than the strangeness that it’s so often characterized by. “There’s this lushness and this quiet and this heat that can scramble your brains and torture your heart,” she said. “So yeah, there’s a lot more to it. If people don’t want to realize that, that’s okay. We’ll keep it to ourselves.”

“I can’t get enough of returning there,” she continued. “It’s so vibrant to me. I’m sure that’s true for most writers and their hometowns. What more could you ask for? Nostalgia and setting and drama all in this little, fucked-up package. It’s perfect.”