Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Distinction

Put a group of writers together for an extended period of time and invariably one will break out of the pack. Some of the others will lament their sour grapes that “there’s virtually no difference between that writer and me. I’m just as talented as he/she.” And they are right. The distinction is infinitesimal. Those who make it have decided to make one small adjustment: They would stop waiting for career validation or help from the Big Guns of the world and immediately be the writer they wanted to be with the career they wanted to have. That is the one change. If I had to start from scratch again I would stop waiting and begin treating my work with the respect it deserves.


  1. I think, everything we do, we should do with respect...

  2. I remember, every morning, the daily (!) table talks of my mother and my stepfather, both writers. They spoke about something they waited for and what they called “the echo”. It had been delivered by daily heaps of newspapers. That was the main part of their staff of life. The echo, what a euphemism.

  3. The only thing I am waiting for before I am writing is a special inspiration...

  4. "treating my work with the respect it deserves"

    Karl Popper said a creative person receives (and accepts) stimuli from the work which is coming into being.

    Einstein said the same, saying "My pencil is more intelligent than me."

    Fred Uhlman said "One has to write (or paint) every day, to be ready when inspiration appears."

  5. For me it´s the other way round - I just write WHEN inspiration appears.

    People are diffrent, and thats makes life colorful.

  6. @cs

    It is important to consider the reaction of people to our work, especially to our words. But to call it an "echo" indeed is quite out of place. The echo is like the answer of a parrot and repeats only our own voice and ideas, it is never a true answer, because an answer informs us that our listener or reader did understand us well or that he has misunderstood what we tried to say. Every writer probably is interested in this kind of reaction, because it is - beyond the number of copies sold - the only way to test the fidelity of the information transfer we tried to reach.

    Echo was a mountain nymph in love with Narciss. Narciss is the symbol of noxious self-reference, and Echo is a second peripheric level of noxious self-reference around Narciss.