“I had expected to be thrilled when I received my first copy of my first book, but when I opened the package and held the first copy in my hand, I found that I just felt sort of flat,” writes Larry McMurtry in Literary Life. “I learned then and have relearned many times since, that the best part of a writer’s life is actually doing it, making up characters, filling in the blank page, creating scenes that readers in distant placed might connect to. The thrill lies in the rush of sentences, the gradual arrival of characters who at once seem to have their own life.”
I read the above just the other day and I was talking with a nice lady who asked about my writing and I confessed that I had produced six books in the past six years and done just about nothing to market any of those books. Oh, I generally have fifty to two hundred of them printed up and sometimes I flourish for a couple of days until I have brought in enough to pay the book bill but with that my interest wanes.
So many times I have read what Larry McMurtry said above, expressed in different ways by so many authors that the joy is in the doing. After the book is completed everything else is hard word. At my age I am definitely not seeking out hard work. I do appreciate the time I spent writing though. It give me another kind of joy to complete a project and when I receive the first book from the printer that give me a sense of satisfaction but I have no desire to spend the next year just going out to promote the book.
I guess the best way to say it is that I write because I have to. That is what I am, a writer and a speaker. I write books and I give speeches. Oh yes, I am also Almost Andy and I do humor and make appearances and do some stand up comedy about the fact that many people think I look exactly like Andy Griffith when he appeared on TV as Matlock and thereafter aged in appearance.
I enjoy the writing, I enjoy the speaking and I enjoy doing this Almost Andy thing and so that is what I do.