It's been a tough month for writers. . . .
I was thinking of the possible reasons a person would write.
--To influence the society and culture;
--To plant a flag of difference to influence future generations;
--To create work which moves or stirs readers-- which is the same thing as my first reason;
--To create lasting art.
Nowhere on my list is money, career, or positions of importance: current barometers of success.
I've long ago learned to live without money. On the few occasions I've had some I got rid of it as quickly as possible, as if it were a disease I had to flush out of my system. Material possessions for the most part aren't my thing.
It'd be nice to have a measure of security. I wish for it often, and complain to myself that most of the time I exist on a week to week basis. Yet if I had security, I might likely chuck it over on a whim for new risk, new adventure, as I did when I left a respectable job in Detroit to come east to foment literary rebellion.
I've oversold the ULA to some extent, through necessity, giving many downtrodden writers hope. Hope!-- that without which no artist can live; hope which has yet to be fulfilled. I'm well aware of my failures. Yet I know the current system is rotten through and through, in slow, irresistible collapse. When I study the possibilities, up, down, and sideways, I see no other option for American literature than the ideas, energy, and writing of the Underground Literary Alliance.
For myself, the one possession in this world I retain is my artistic integrity. This I won't give up. I kept it through tougher times than these; it'd be silly to get rid of it now.