John Steinbeck’s Journal
For those of you who enjoyed my blog post, I “Wish” No More, about my childhood, self-inflicted intimation of the writing skills of Steinback.
Excerpt from John Steinbeck’s journals while he was working on Grapes of Wrath.
My many weaknesses are starting to show their heads. I simply must get this thing out of my system. I’m not a writer. I’ve been fooling myself and other people. I wish I were. This success will ruin me as sure as hell. It probably won’t last, and that will be all right. I’ll try to go on with work now. Just a stint every day does it. I keep forgetting.
Always I have been weak. Vacillating and miserable. I wish I wouldn’t. I wish I weren’t. I’m so lazy, so damned lazy. This year though I have made up for last year’s lay off. I really have batted out a lot of words. I would go through until winter if I could. But if I don’t lay off it will be done, and if I do lay off I’ll lose the thread. I am simply incapable of working any way but hard and fast. That is the only way I can make it. This is too bad. It is almost impossible in fact but I must get calm and quieted before I can go on. I mean that streak yesterday was curiously indecent. I don’t know why but it was. So many things. How impossible it is for me to think. Just writing words, but the thing is starting in my brain. I must get the tempo. — via Heron Dance Studio
He used the word “wish” three times! Steinbeck considered himself to be a failure as a writer, and lazy, so he forced himself to write. The results of that process, of trying to compensate for what he thought of as a lack of talent and discipline, were some truly great novels.Subscribe to Atina’s Blog © Atina Diffley 2012
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