On the surface

Posted by on Apr 27, 2013 in Letters | One Comment

Today I came across following piece of text written by Henry Miller. After reading it, I realize that this was clear to me for very long time. Sometime you realize things only when you see them from outside. Your own inside voice is not loud enough or you are blind enough to ignore it. Writers joy is something I need to remind myself every time I get lost.

Here is the quote:

On the surface, where the historical battles rage, where everything is interpreted in terms of money and power, there may be crowding, but life only begins when one drops below the surface, when one gives up the struggle, sinks and disappears from sight. Now I can as easily not write as write: there is no longer any compulsion, no longer any therapeutic aspect to it. Whatever I do is done out of sheer joy: I drop my fruits like a ripe tree. What the general reader or the critic makes of it is not my concern. I am not establishing values: I defecate and nourish. There is nothing more to it.

Writers joy:

Isn’t this something we should realize if we like to say something mainly to ourself? We do not need to pretend and lie to self, do we? Just few minutes later I came across of video where Ray Bradbury talks among other things following:

Now, what I’m thinking of is, people always saying “Well, what do we do about a sudden blockage in your writing? What if you have a blockage and you don’t know what to do about it?” Well, it’s obvious you’re doing the wrong thing, don’t you? In the middle of writing something you go blank and your mind says: “No, that’s it.” Ok. You’re being warned, aren’t you? Your subconscious is saying “I don’t like you anymore. You’re writing about things I don’t give a damn for.” You’re being political, or you’re being socially aware. You’re writing things that will benefit the world. To hell with that! I don’t write things to benefit the world. If it happens that they do, swell. I didn’t set out to do that. I set out to have a hell of a lot of fun.

Somewhere else in that rather long video (yes this is not 15 second twitter view) he mentioned something very similar to Henry Miller I quote earlier:

Ray Bradbury:

I want your loves to be multiple. I don’t want you to be a snob about anything. Anything you love, you do it. It’s got to be with a great sense of fun. Writing is not a serious business. It’s a joy and a celebration. You should be having fun with it. Ignore the authors who say “Oh, my God, what word? Oh, Jesus Christ…”, you know. Now, to hell with that. It’s not work. If it’s work, stop and do something else.

You may say as I feel it, this is great I agree with it, but I need to eat and feed my kids…

1 Comment

  1. richo
    Sun, 5. May , 2013

    I had hoped that somebody would give a little though to this post and ideas mentioned here.

    Reply

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