28 Jan 2011

January 28, 2011

It’s all about priorities. I have five books on my desk and none of them are even for school. It turns out I don’t like being told what to read.

Annie Dillard said a writer shouldn’t sit in front of a window while they’re working. They should stare at a blank wall. She wrote inside a shed in her backyard. In the winter, she brought out carafes of tea and got pneumonia. Then she won the pulitzer prize.

It’s hard to get out of the competetive mindset. It’s hard not to wonder how you stack up. But in the end, it doesn’t really matter. Most people don’t want to admit how hard they try, anyways.

The only thing I want anymore is time.

I read an interview with Stephen Elliot where the interviewer asked if he wished he’d written a best-seller. Elliott was offended. He said all he wanted to do was write somebody’s favorite book.

Everybody has some idea about what’s good, about what they want. So when you make stuff for other people, for clients, you have to realize something: they’re never going to love it. At best, they’ll like it the way they like their neighbor’s kid.

I’m saying you have to make things for yourself. And if you’re not going to make things for yourself, you might as well make money.


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