How Steinbeck Used the Diary as a Tool of Discipline, a Hedge Against Self-Doubt, and a Pacemaker for the Heartbeat of Creative Work

a lot of writers i read will put long passages into their books explaining on how they can't write or couldn't write, or how hard it is for them to write. rousseau will carry on doing this for like 5 pages, shameful because his descriptions of his inordinate troubles with putting down this thoughts is written so well only a great writer like him, who was better suited to write good stuff than almost any others, could have written it. henry adams and carlyle explain their feelings of feebleness in writing very eloquently too. whatever your talents are you may have your rough spots, especially when you are trying to maintain an amazing prose style like any of these guys and never write a dull line. but yeah, im not too impressed by these confessions. ill add steinbeck to the collection of people who fake easy stuff for them being hard.

remarkable people have the same qualities as regulars because they are just regulars, except with a few extra talents. rather than taking away from their regularness these taletns just adds a dimension to them. te point is they are not consumed by the area of their talent, to them their talent is not a talent, its their self artistic expression like my drawing badly porn deer is mine, and like you have yours. the difference is just that there expression is pleasing and elevating to anyone who sees it, not repulsive like me deers. chesterton explains this

It need hardly be said that this is the real explanation of the thing which has puzzled so many dilettante critics, the problem of the extreme ordinariness of the behaviour of so many great geniuses in history. Their behaviour was so ordinary that it was not recorded; hence it was so ordinary that it seemed mysterious. Hence people say that Bacon wrote Shakespeare. The modern artistic temperament cannot understand how a man who could write such lyrics as Shakespeare wrote, could be as keen as Shakespeare was on business transactions in a little town in Warwickshire. The explanation is simple enough; it is that Shakespeare had a real lyrical impulse, wrote a real lyric, and so got rid of the impulse and went about his business. Being an artist did not prevent him from being an ordinary man, any more than being a sleeper at night or being a diner at dinner prevented him from being an ordinary man.

its in between the ordinary people and the great genius that shares the qualities of the ordinary person and then some, that you get the tormented artist

Artists of a large and wholesome vitality get rid of their art easily, as they breathe easily, or perspire easily. But in artists of less force, the thing becomes a pressure, and produces a definite pain, which is called the artistic temperament. Thus, very great artists are able to be ordinary men—men like Shakespeare or Browning. There are many real tragedies of the artistic temperament, tragedies of vanity or violence or fear. But the great tragedy of the artistic temperament is that it cannot produce any art.

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