Just in case anyone still harbours illusions about the business of getting words down on paper, I recommend Rod Dreher’s long but utterly absorbing post. Key sentence:
This is why writers drink: because they desperately need to get out of their heads, and can’t.
Dreher’s point about the financial failure of his excellent polemic “Crunchy Cons” is alarming, to say the least. I remember how much of a stir the book created even before publication – and yet it still didn’t make money. Incredible. Oh, and Lionel Shriver – who’s tasted success – has plenty to say about all the distractions that are part and parcel of keeping your name in lights. Still, after all that misery, last word has to go to Dreher:
Why do it? Because you have to. Because what else is there? … If you paid me $100 million for the promise never to write another sentence, I would refuse it, because for me, to cease writing is to give up on life.