Recently I’ve been thinking about work. Not just work, but reconciling public opinion and the drive to get ahead in the rat race with my own intuition and creative drive. And I’ve realized that they don’t have to be necessarily reconciled. All it takes is work.
If you are a young writer who wants to get published, you may be thinking about how to direct your efforts to appeal to said publisher. Or on the other hand, you may think about how you don’t care if you’re going to be published – you want to create art for art’s sake.
I know the answer. It comes from deep in the smithy of the artist’s soul. All you have to do is listen to yourself and understand how much more work you have ahead of you. What you’ve done so far is the tip of the iceberg. Underneath, your unconscious, intuition, and drive to duty must be revealed. And the only way to do that is to work. Ravenously, savagely hard. You are a shitty writer, I tell myself. The hundreds of hours you spent working on your novel so far have been a preface to the work on it you have yet to do. I now understand why many writers in the past have burned entire manuscripts.
So please, just shut up and keep working.