Tolstoy’s wife wrote in her journal:
“Yeah,” she says, “You should generally do exactly what you want.”
I find comfort in this insistence on the terrestrial nature of the problem and therefore the terrestrial nature of its solution. Time is the issue, not some metaphysical conflict between art and motherhood. But another part of me worries that being a writer isn’t exactly like being a factory worker or a nurse. In Dept. of Speculation, Offill writes:
Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. :-)
A student asked Donald Barthelme how he might become a better writer. Barthelme advised him to read through the whole history of philosophy from the pre-Socratics up through the modern-day thinkers. The student wondered how he could possibly do this. “You’re probably wasting time on things like eating and sleeping,” Barthelme said. “Cease that, and read all of philosophy and all of literature.” Also art, he amended. Also politics. There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 52 weeks in a year, and X years in a life. Solve for X.
How to Make Wealth - Paul Graham
Your work is now, with these children, this marriage, the writing. Quiet the worries, and know that you’ll still be writing and working when the kids are raised and all those hot-shot other young male writers in grad school will be laboring with their mortgages, their wives and demanding jobs. I know. I lived it. No, no one knows who I am. But I am happy and satisfied and working in my creative life. Thank you for a revealing, thoughtful and yearning look.
Historical Origins of French Cuisine - History Essay 93
Lovely, raging essay, locating the source of that anger so succinctly (and I get the underwear pick-up thing–no judging, here) that many have responded as I might have done at that age, when I faced all those conflicts. But somewhere I read a line from a Famous Woman who said that the time frame for women is different for men, so why do we attempt to achieve on a male timeline? I only offer that up to say that perhaps that this reality is also a driver for this struggle–that feeling that we’ll miss out if we aren’t the cool, happening young writer/creator/singer/whatever, with the operative word being “young.”