I want to write. Preferably fiction. Imaginary worlds in parallel with the current one.
Nothing has influenced me more than books have. Articles don’t do it for me. Non-fiction doesn’t do it for me (with exceptions). Good fiction rarely fails me. They suck into me into a state of flow that no other form of writing can do to me. But that’s not the why.
It’s a job that will leave you unsatisfied so long as you keep growing. Your past work will miss the wisdom that you have now. You may have external markers of success, but you can’t fool yourself. Your mind knows bullshit when it reads it.
To change my own mind. I try to create a new vocabulary or terrain for myself, so that I open out — I always think of the Dutch claiming land from the sea — or open up something that would have been closed to me before. That’s the point and the pleasure of it. I continuously scrutinize my own thinking. I write something and think, How do I know that that’s true? If I wrote what I thought I knew from the outset, then I wouldn’t be learning anything new.Marilynne Robinson, on why she writes.
I’ve never really written fiction beyond school assignments. I find it hard to tap into my imaginary realm of thought. Perhaps because I never try for long enough. Yet I’ve convinced myself that this is what I want to do. I even bravely penned it in my seventh grade autobiography for class.
Out of all the lives of artists I’ve read, I’m most fascinated with that of writers. Authors. Their work ethic is chaotic at best. They are frivolous or stringent, with many holding work as their sole raison d’être. They have an insatiable fire within them that can’t be placated by promises of praise, nor threats of destitution. The mere act of reading about them, rather than trying to become one, is a telltale sign that I’m not like them. I don’t have it, but I’m still going to do it.
I don’t expect to have a career in writing. But this thought allows me to attach a tangible meaning to everything I do, to every success and every misfortune I have. This is a string that connects me to my past, and that I still hold on to as a source of hope when there is none.
Also, I might change my mind.