Thursday, March 20, 2008

Support Systems

On p. 94 of ON WRITING, Stephen King concludes his CV section with this:

"...put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn't in the middle of the room. Life isn't a support-system for art. It's the other way around."

Ha! is my first reaction. Easy for him to say. He who could wipe his snot in Courier 12-point and make millions.

He's right, though. As much as we authors (especially beginning ones) get wrapped up in living the author's life, whether it be the work itself or learning the ins and outs of the business or learning how to promote, or going to conferences and networking on-line, we all got into this field for one reason. All of our lives have been enriched through reading. And at some point, we all wanted to become a part of that enrichment for other people. Everything else is just details, different paths on the way to the ultimate goal.

The trick, I'm finding, is to not let the one supplant the other. Reading and writing do not exist outside of life, but life does exist outside of reading and writing. And there are people more important to you than the ones that live inside your head. And you are more important to them, as well.

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