Sometimes, it’s the slow burn that keeps you going. Slow burn as in an underground peat fire, barely raising a wisp of smoke here and there.
Other times, it’s the sheer pleasure of words bouncing along and combining in unexpected patterns.
At others, it’s the gritted teeth of those fuckers weren’t get the best of me, no way. “Those fuckers” can be anybody imaginable that happens to raise your goat that day, and tap into those places where the hurts never die, they just slumber until jabbed awake again.
And always, always shutting up the voice that keeps telling you to shut up.
I rode out to Lisle-sur-Tarn yesterday afternoon, as a way of breaking up the writing day. Neighbors invited me to drive out to the thrift store over there – a vast hangar on the outskirts of town where folks pick up an almost-new couch or an almost-intact set of dishes. Or books, in my case, plus a lampshade for the kitchen. Total cost: eight euros.
I’m often angry and that’s all right. I’m happy enough when strangers look into my eyes and smile. I smile back. Then, I come home and I tackle the beast again. I don’t aim for the Nobel Prize. I aim to respect myself as a writer. And every day I spend at it, I respect myself a little bit more.