Is it that you have to be incredibly tolerant, overly generous, treat the creative self with a kindness bordering on irresponsibility in order to write… Why, what are you working on, even? What's the point? A million skeptical voices, the buzz of an entire city… and yet, you persist.
Some are born to family lineage, taught at an early age, possessing obvious talent, a rare enough human being like an Andrew Wyeth who's going to paint his entire life, possessing with confidence a tolerance for humoring the creative mode. And for some the mode itself is instinctive enough, a way of being, such that fitting in is not high on the list of considerations, a Ted Hughes realizing he cannot write papers but must write poetry. Like Jesus, teaching with authority, in a way blasphemous to the cultural expectation. A kind of rebellion.
Sometimes you'll just write cliché, hoary platitude, embarrassing common obvious observations a clever person would laugh at. You never know. It's just part of the deal. It's not all going to be brilliant. But you have to save that kindness with respect for your efforts.
Is there such a thing as self knowledge? Is that something gained? Do you follow the urge to join in with outer things? Is there a tension between the worldly, the seekers of that kind of knowledge, those kinds of luxury, with that of the simple, those things like lilies of the field, the raiment of sparrows… Always hard to figure. You're left to use your gut instinct: was the night out (to which I was susceptible) all that useful, or was it another exercise in worldliness. And worldliness is very important to us, the source of pleasures… How could you avoid the night out, the real pleasure of company.