He wrote, "Security is a kind of death, I think, and it can come to you in a storm of royalty checks beside a kidney-shaped pool in Beverly Hills or anywhere at all that is removed from the conditions that made you an artist, if that's what you are or were or intended to be."
It got me thinking about the outside factors that influence our writing. If a writer has faced extreme hardships, they can bleed those experiences onto the page. If a writer has only experienced a cushy, happy life, does their writing lack the same depth? I don't know.
Williams ends with, "Then what is good? The obsessive interest in human affairs, plus a certain amount of compassion and moral conviction, that first made the experience of living something that must be translated into pigment or music or bodily movement or poetry or prose or anything that's dynamic and expressive--that's what's good for you if you're at all serious in your aims."
From where I sit right now, success and royalty checks sound pretty darn good. I know I'll never have to worry about growing bored with five star hotels or kidney-shaped pools in Beverly Hills, but still. It reminded me that sometimes we strive for success without considering the flip side. Maybe it's a case of "be careful what you wish for."
Have you read this essay? And what's your impression of the above quotes?
And in case you missed it, I was a guest blogger over at the amazing Adventures in Children's Publishing, where I wrote about the power of going for it. I hope you'll stop by for a visit!