The secret of flight is this — you have to do it immediately, before your body realizes it is defying the laws.
Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.
Albert Camus; Notebooks, 1935 1942
[Something we should all be mindful of after yesterday’s election. Let’s move forward now and make some real healthy and good changes, always being mindful of what’s going on right now.]
I try to make writers actually see what they have written, where the strength is. Usually in fiction there’s something that leaps out—an image or a moment that is strong enough to center the story. If they can see it, they can exploit it, enhance it, and build a fiction that is subtle and new. I don’t try to teach technique, because frankly most technical problems go away when a writer realizes where the life of a story lies. I don’t see any reason in fine-tuning something that’s essentially not going anywhere anyway. What they have to do first is interact in a serious way with what they’re putting on a page. When people are fully engaged with what they’re writing, a striking change occurs, a discipline of language and imagination.
Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.
If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don’t bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don’t bullshit yourself that you’re not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard’s vote.
Would it be everything? Would you specialize it to a certain genre? Style? What would you fill it with?