Y.P.R.1. As the editors of Y.P.R. approach the age of 30, we increasingly find ourselves in fits of white-hot jealousy and berserk outrage when we learn of young success stories. Looking back on your (slightly) younger days, were you a bratty little twerp, or were you cool and confident? Basically: what’s it like to be a teenage literary rock star?
Ned VizziniI was never really a teenage literary rock star. I did write for New York Press and go to their parties when I was 15, but “literary rock star”? I don’t think those words go together—writers don’t get to be rock stars. We don’t get recognized and we don’t get many girls (although it’s tough to be a writer and not have a girlfriend; we tend to attract them and they tend to be very smart and cool). I was always very focused on writing and getting published and staying in touch with my readers, so I didn’t really have time to be a bratty little twerp. As for being cool and confident, I’ve never been that. I’ve been hyperactive and confident, maybe—guardedly confident. Timidly confident.
I ain’t no rock star. Even the rock stars aren’t rock stars anymore. I’m just a stressed-out little nothing trying to make my way in the world. I happen to have published two books and to not have a day job—but believe me, there are lots of perils in living that way. I’m kind of jealous of you guys—you’ve got a .org.