moderation is bullshit

Moderation is for people who don't want to achieve anything.

It's for people who want to be kinda good at a lot of things instead of stellar at a few.

I don't think that's necessarily a bad way to be. But to really achieve in the arts (yeah, okay, writing) (and I don't mean just writing a book, and finishing that shit, but also selling the damn thing and then selling it to readers, because otherwise what's the point of the damn thing) you don't get to be moderate. You have to be annoyingly focused, neglect other things (like family and cleaning your house), you have to be a total bitch about putting the time in, immoral and in denial to the point of addiction.

There are only so many hours in the day. You MUST BE ruthless about protecting them.

It's a bitch, I know.

But I think it's pretty true.

So? How goes it for you? Moderation getting you anywhere?

10 comments:

Christine Hardy said...

I would have agreed with you until the day a few years ago when my husband announced he was giving up on our marriage because he realuzed he could never compete with my writing obsession and couldn't live with being ignored any longer. He felt like all he was to me was a paycheck to keep the electricity flowing to the computer.

Boy, was that a reality check.

So, yeah, in.principle you have to be really dedicated and focused... But a manuscript won't keep you warm.at night, either. Everything in its proper perspective.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

I've been in a similar place. I don't talk about it because it's very private. But I've been there.

There is a theory that hunger for creativity drives and feeds creativity. But it's never much worked for me.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Maybe the alternative is discipline.

Haha, I made a funny. (I have no discipline.)

Christine Hardy said...

Heh. Well, to answer the ? in your post...no it's not getting me anywhere.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

The only thing that gets me anywhere is obsession. Unfortunately for everyone else around me...

Les Edgerton said...

I was addressing a writer's conference a few years ago and during the Q&A, an audience member asked, "What should you do if your spouse doesn't support your writing?" and in a nanosecond, both my co-presenter (a woman) and I answered in perfect unison, "Divorce him." We both meant it.

That doesn't mean it's the right answer for everyone. It's a matter of the individual's priorities. Some will opt for the spouse while others won't. My own stance is the same as Faulkner's when he said, "The Ode On a Grecian Urn is worth any number of old ladies."

Is this a stance most wouldn't take? Sure. And, I'm glad. Anything that weeds out the competition is good...

The thing is, many times when a spouse delivers an ultimatum, it's not about the writer but about the other person.

What I've seen happen when the writer opted for the spouse willing to give up his/her art for them is... a lot of TV watching in silence with that person...

I'm with you on this one, Sex.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Hey, Les! I just lurked over at your place this very day.

I am very fortunate in my marriage, and it's because a lot of work and struggle happened to get us there.

Nikki Jefford said...

Oh, heck yeah: A blog with strong language. I’m in the right place.

Denial is definitely key.

And fuck moderation. I’m either writing like mad or not at all. That’s how I work.

Les Edgerton said...

Betsy, I'm delighted your marriage works well with your writing! Mine does as well. Well... this one does. I've had a couple that didn't... But, my wife knew I was a writer and went in with her eyes wide open and never thought she was going to "change me." I felt the same about her. She's been hugely supportive and it makes all the difference in the world. I've had other marriages (on my 5th) with a spouse who thought they'd change me. I changed... my address. This one's a keeper--must be--we've been married 26 years.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Well it took a long time and a great deal of patience on his part. Now I work more regular hours and I'm also selling, he views it more as a job. Plus, he works for himself as well and so he gets the whole "work is never finished" gig.

Next year will be a new challenge as I need to attend several fan cons to promote my book coming out in January.