So Writers Write
"Lao-Tze pointed out that
nothing worth saying can be said with words. Words are crude and
clumsy things, objects of ink, ultimately imprecise. And writing
is as much fun as giving birth to a Howard Johnson's. Writers learn
to live with that fact the way a soldier learns to live with fear or the
way a doctor learns to live with death. When the battle is lost,
the soldier attacks. When the case is hopeless, the doctor operates.
So writers write. And whereas soldiers and doctors are allowed to
bury their mistakes a writer is expected to publish his.
"Being a writer
was not my first choice for a profession. I would much prefer to
be an archaeologist, a sculptor, or a country-western singer. But
then I had all these ideas for books which came to me in a vision.
Since then, I have been convinced that there is no human problem which
could not be solved if people would simply do as I say. Yet my work remains
a personal statement -- I speak for no groups or social factions.
I have no goals beyond the completion of my next story. The praise
I seek from my readers is that they finish my books. After being
alternately damned and praised for equally invalid reasons, I am content
to trade fame for accuracy of interpretation. Fame, for a writer,
is like being a dancing bear with a little hat on your head." "
--from Gus's profile in Contemporary
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