Yes, I’ve got a giant stack of fancy new releases, mostly literary fiction and mostly recommended by the who’s who, but it’s still the long days of summer and I have time to dig into 600 pages of historical fiction for no other reason than this: I feel like it.
I met with a fellow writer this week and we were talking about commitment. As in, how committed are we, am I, to writing. He’d recently attended a writing conference where an elderly, well-known physician/writer was asked, How were you so accomplished in both professions?
His answer: I did nothing else.
I’ve been thinking about this conversation. How committed am I, what with rescuing dogs and going to visit my kids and spending time with friends and going for daily walks and/or hikes and looking for a farmhouse and writing essays that have nothing to do with my memoir and going to concerts with my husband and having dinner with our neighbors on the patio and, as if that’s not enough, I’m about to head out on a one-in-a-lifetime trip in Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland.
Like I said, I’ve been thinking about it. And honestly all I can come up with is that I am committed to my writing and finishing this memoir, but I also need to be living my life in order to do it. Life is too short. It just is. And — at least right now — I’m not willing to do nothing else.
So I’ll be going to see my kids and I’ll have a beer with our very own Lyra. And then I’m going to get ready for my next adventure by reading some Michener. I was looking back at the reviews of POLAND and found this review from the NYT from September 1983. While no one seems to think the story is perfect — what story is? — Michener was known for his exhaustive research and his ability to weave page-turning fiction through thousands of years of history.
And right now, that sounds just about perfect.