Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Do you believe?

Today on the notecard easel: "Do you believe?"

Why write if I don't believe in the story, in the worth of the finished product? Why build a boat if I don't believe it'll float someday? I don't mean faith, though surely that's part of it. But belief in the goal, the destination, that is strong enough to withstand the days and months of unrewarded labor.

Because in the end, if we don't believe, why bother? If I don't believe, I'm just going through the motions for no reason.

Why would I do something I don't believe in? Okay, that's a straw man since I get paid a salary for doing something that largely doesn't care whether I believe in it or not. So I go in and do my hurky-jerky puppetlike performance so I can pay bills. Big deal.

But the rest of the time, my time, is for work that I believe in. And because I believe (on most days, at least), the reworking of sentences after I can no longer hear the rhythm, and replacing another split piece of wood (curse you, cheap yellow pine!) on the neverending Frame 7 of my boat, callouses on my fingers, coffee stains on my latest draft, another query letter slingshot into silence ... all of it is worth it.


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