I just watched a documentary on Bill Cunningham, the NYT's fashion photographer. Now, I could care less about fashion, but what came through was the purity of his vision. He is an artist in the true sense of the word, where fame and fortune mean nothing to him, all he wants is access to take his pictures.
"If they don't pay you, they can't tell you what to do," he says, and he means it.
Which lines up with what Bill Watterson's notions about art and success. (Calvin and Hobbes.)
"So, what’s it like in the real world? Well, the food is better, but beyond that, I don’t recommend it."
It's hard to be completely pure about these things. I have the luxury of having had a career that worked out, and now I have the time to pursue the writing. For some reason I'm lucky enough to have an undiminished desire to express myself, despite not having pursued my ambition through the middle part of my life.
I'm not looking for fame or fortune. I want just enough success that I have access to a publisher who can take care of the nuts and bolts of publishing.
I want to pursue my writing for my own vision. The stories that comes to me, and how I can tell it best. Finish the story and move on to the next, always trying to make the next story as good as I can make it.
I have no problem with other writers being pragmatic and writing for money (fame and fortune). That is totally understandable and I wish them the best.
But for myself, I'm trying to write my stories without regard to such things. Write what I want to write, and hope there are people who want to read them. Of course I want to have people read them, but I have very little control over that.
Writing come first. Whatever form it takes, whatever fulfills my need. The story is what counts, and whether it is what people expect or want, that I can't do anything about. I need to fulfill my own vision of the story, as purely as I can.
And just write.
5 days ago