Thought for the Day
There is an interesting interview with Norman Mailer in the Summer 2007 Paris Review. Here's what Mailer has to say about the difficulties of being a novelist. I think the same could be said of writing poetry, but I am not sure all novelists (or poets, for that matter) would agree.
MAILER: You bring whatever powers you have to high focus. It's why very few people ever become successful novelists and are able to remain successful novelists. They have the talent, but it's also about bringing the powers to focus. It involves stuff that isn't agreeable. For instance, being a novelist means you have to be ready to live a monastic life. When you are really working on a novel there can be ten days in a row when you are just out there working and offering nothing to your mate and nothing to anyone else. You don't want to be bothered. You don't want to answer the phone, you don't want even to talk a great deal to your kids--you want to be left alone while you're working. And that is hard. And of course every morning you have to go in there and face that blank page and start up again. So this business of bringing your powers to focus is not routine. You have to believe you're going to engage in spiritual discomfort in order to get to the place where you can think. Not just to think as yourself, but to do so as the person who's fashioning the novel.