"The work, that is another thing"

Ah, Cary Tennis. Always hitting home with the hard truth. From "Should I leave L.A. after one year?":
There are dreams and there are career plans. They are not the same. Some dreams are compensatory: visions that we retreat to in times of stress, like blankies for infants, things that comfort us and tell us what we need to be told. The dream of being a famous writer can be like that: a dream of infantile power and attention that disguises the more immediate need -- for safety, self-love, serenity, peace in our hearts.

But the work, that is another thing. The real work is staggering; the real work is work. It is not dream. It is pushing against the wall; it is hearing what we do not want to hear; it is doing the numbers; it is learning the new terms as they come along; it is sitting through evaluations and self-evaluations. It is an eternal object lesson in our powerlessness and our smallness. The real work is grinding and slow.

When I look at all the writers who have won coveted prizes and all the filmmakers and artists who have had success, what I notice is that they are the ones who actually filled out the applications for fellowships and sent their work around for critique and rejection; they are the ones who locked themselves in rooms and worked at it; they are the ones who did what was required; they are the ones who allowed themselves to be beginners and to begin at the beginning and do the next obvious thing.
(Via alf.)

I've resumed a leisurely pace of work this week, which is an improvement over last week but still not clip-cloppy enough for my liking, and certainly not clip-cloppy enough for any dreams to be realised. I need to work up to a point where I can start locking myself in a room ...

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At 7/07/2009 4:45 pm , Anonymous Tetanus said...

Cary Tennis always manages to nail it on the head. Somehow.

Very nice site redesign! I likey!


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