Wanted: Delusions of Grandeur

[frame align=”right”] William Faulkner's portable typewriter [/frame]Taken at face value, writing is a bit of an odd enterprise: Writers work alone, spending inordinate amounts of time and energy on something with absolutely no guarantee of success. In fact, the whole endeavor seems insane. And yet.

Anyone who writes, and is brave enough to say it publicly, has probably been confronted by the question, Why do you write? There are sophisticated answers involving “the human condition” or “art” or the like. But, after the terrified pause, the moment to gather one’s thoughts at the brink of the abyss, the answer, I think, is surprisingly simple and easy to come by, usually something that can be boiled down to “Because I have to.”

That necessity, that compulsion, is what defines the impulse to write. But how to keep going, especially in the late hours of revision, when you’ve begun to suspect that you have no talent, and that you might actually be crazy? What sustains the fire? The answer to those questions is what separates the wheat from the chaff, the pretenders from those who’ve really got it. That “it,” I would argue, is a healthy quotient of delusion. Yes, you must be humble. But, more importantly, you must also believe that you — amongst the polyphony of all human voices — have something to offer the world.

That said, what are you waiting for, crazypants? Send something our way!

-George Kamide, fiction editor

Genius or loon?

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