If we only get one chance, in this life, surely it behoves us to take it?
I become, frankly, incandescent with... well, not so much rage (not a terribly angry person), as disappointment* when I see someone letting what might be his only opportunity slip through his fingers, and all for what? Well, in this instance for the want of effort, it seemed to me.
People just don’t try, do they?
Here you go, have a platform, have somewhere to show what you can do, take the stage, write something, see it in print, this person was told.
What was his answer?
His answer, this person who calls himself a writer; his answer was, I’m not really feeling it, and I don’t want to force anything, and it might be better to wait until the spirit moves.
Some of you might be able to imagine what my answer would have been had this been someone I knew well enough to scold: say a very close friend of very long standing, a brother, a son or, if we were back in 1952, a student in my charge. Some of you might be able to imagine that I might have said something like, “Call yourself a bloody writer! Step aside, fool, and let someone who’s prepared to work at it have a go, and don’t expect any sympathy from me when you’re still pushing in a pen in a crumby office in another twenty years. Idiot!”
What this person was actually told was something along the lines of, No pressure.
No bloody pressure, my fundament!
If and when you can name you price for your next novel, and if and when you can afford to produce a book a decade, and if and when the World adores you enough to give you... I don’t know... a bloody Nobel Prize for Literature, then you can tell me you’re not feeling it, but until you’re published, if you’re offered an opportunity to showcase yourself or your work then give the spirit a hefty kick in the breeches and get the damned thing moving. That’s your one chance, Buster, and it’s a slippery little sucker.
*Incandescent with disappointment isn’t cutting it, is it? but I am incandescent... I am, I tell you!