Monday, November 1, 2010

Inner Interview I

Q. Why do you write?
A. Because I wouldn't have much if I didn't. Oh, and I'm in pursuit of something. Perfection, epiphany, whatever you want to call it.
Q. Why pursue this something through writing?
A. Well, that's just my particular tool I use. There are any number of ways to go about it. I think we are all pursuing these unanswerable questions in our own way. Is writing any better than, say, painting? Can you do more with words than you can do with pigments? I think all of the arts are cross-curricular, borrowing each others' strengths, and learning from each other, so maybe it all evens out. And, of course, this could be done with science, too, or mechanics, or anything. It's whichever medium you're drawn to.
Q. What draws someone to a particular medium?
A. The way their brain works.
Q. It's that simple?
A. Well, that and the experiences they have that lead them in a certain direction. Maybe it's whatever provides the best pay-off. But of course, the other thing that's involved with that is effort. People will tend to go for the thing that gives them the most pay-off for the least amount of effort. I mean, that's why I stopped drawing, really. My ability stopped at the level of doodling cartoon characters, because I wasn't willing to put in the effort to get to the next level of ability. So maybe I just write because that's the easiest medium for me, and I've practiced enough that I'm at a certain level of skill.
Q. So you see it as less a question of finding your true voice or medium, and more as a matter of laziness and compromise?
A. (Laughs) Yes, yes, I do.
Q. The converse of that, though, logically, is that if you practice at something long enough, you will approach a level of mastery, and perhaps that could happen for anything that you commit to.
A. Right, yeah. Makes me think of the idea of the Renaissance Man, or any of these people nowadays who try their hand at any number of disciplines. I suppose it's about being good enough at something so that it flows out of you, intuitively, eliminating the need for a certain amount of editing or struggling. And you've already got it at a high enough level that you can only improve it from there. I'm definitely jealous of people who have mastered many arts, but they have put in the time,'s earned. Their skill, not my jealousy.
Q. Beyond being jealous, aren't you also a little bit afraid?
A. Afraid?
Q. That you won't be good enough, that you'll fail, that it'll take too much time...
A. Sure. All of that. We all have fear, don't we?
Q. Sounds like an excuse.
A. Yeah, but if I don't have the ability, then I'm not able to do it.
Q. That's why you train, why you practice, improve...
A. Yeah. Well, right now I'm improving my ability to not give up. To try.
Q. I don't see how you can improve that ability without...trying...
A. I'm trying to try. I don't have any more for you. There's nothing else I can say because it would just be more excuses.
Q. You're very uncomfortable with this, I see.
A. End of interview.

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