I mention The Rag Tree occasionally and send you its way. I love the author’s intelligence and humour. The question he asks is one that has probably appeared before us all in one way or another. I like having the possibilities laid out for me to consider.
This is the fact: you could be long dead before people appreciate your writing. It’s happened plenty to writers of the first rank: jealousy, stupidity, war–in other words, plain old politics–obscured their talent and contributions. So, if fame and fortune are hard to find, just why are you writing?
From personal experience, RT can tell you that this is not a popular question at cocktail parties. Even less popular is quoting the Elements of Style: Writing is an act of faith. To help you (and me) answer this little demon of a question, here are some answers:
1) I have to write. To confirm the truth of this motivation, go to a new or small poetry reading. Chances are you’re not going to meet successful people there. Folks are doing OK; they’re getting by; they’re dealing with their issues–but nobody owns a BMW.
2) I’m in love with…
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