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Josh Ritter is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, named one of the "100 Greatest Living Songwriters" by Paste magazine. He started out studying neuroscience at Oberlin College, but later switched[…]

Both are hard, but for the musician and author, one was “terrifying.”

Question: What made yournwant to write a novel?


Josh Ritter: Irnreally have wanted to do it for a long time and I’ve started and I’ve rnworked onrna number of different things that were all just terrible. rn But I got this idea when I was workingrnon “So Runs the World Away,” and I had this idea as I started writing rnthe song, and it wasrnway too long a song.  It was aboutrna guy who has an angel who tells him to do things. Not necessarily a rnguardianrnangel, but it was a long song, and it was pretty overwrought and I rnrealized itrnneeded a lot more subtlety, more subtlety that I can get into a song. rnAnd so Irnstared writing and I wrote 1,000 words a day for 50 or 55 days and then Irn hadrnthis big rough draft.  And thenrnafter that, it was just, you know, keep on going over it and over it.  And it really is, it’s like you’rernwriting a really long song.  Everyrnword kind of matters and if it doesn’t feel right you’ve got to work rnuntil itrndoes.  So, yeah, I’m very excited. rn It’s coming out next year.


Question: Which isrnharder, writing a novel or making an album?


Josh Ritter:rnWell, putting together an album is a group effort, you know?  Luckily you have a number of peoplernthat can help and everything from helping you to record it to—I write a rnsongrnand I bring it to my band and I say, let’s like open this up and fiddle rnaroundrnwith it, and I’m so lucky to have that, people to help record it.  But with a novel, it’s you’re kind ofrngoing across the page alone and there’s been times when that’s been rnreallyrntremendous.  It’s like running;rnit’s like a solitary thing.  Andrnother times, it’s just really terrifying.

Recorded April 5, 2010
Interviewed by Austin rnAllen