Friday, May 18, 2012

The Wrestler, re: John Irving, 12 May 2012 Time

I read with a great interest the article in the May 12, 2012 issue of Time magazine entitled "The Wrestler" concerning the writer John Irving. No doubt a successful and highly acclaimed author, Irving is now 70 years old, five years older than me. He is dealing with his declining powers as a writer as he gets older. Apparently, he feels that being in top physical condition will help him to retain his powers as a writer and perhaps increase his longevity. He has a pretty rigorous workout schedule. I for one hope it does help him to live and write for many more years.

I'm facing the same issue of declining mental stamina. I'm in the opposite situation in that I have not achieved success as a writer. I'm still attempting to get my work out there. I have no illusions of being a famous or highly successful author at this point. I'm not even sure it matters any longer. I just want to finish what I've started and maybe a little extra.

In an earlier post on this blog I believe I mentioned that I want to write shorter works now. I don't want to spend years and years working on one book any longer. I'd like my novels to be no longer than around 85,000 words, and less would be okay. In the article, Irving said, "I am writing shorter and shorter novels...My grasp of fictional detail and chronological story is worsening, so I must work with what I have to make sure I'm fully cognizant of what I'm creating." That goes for me as well.

It shows, though, to what degree we value and love our creativity. Perhaps we fear losing it and will do whatever is necessary to keep it. When art is what you're about, you want to do it until the day you die.

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