I finished the Thomas Merton book I’ve been reading at work. It was about the balance between life as a writer and life as a monk. And there was a lot of stuff to take from it. One of the most important was a sense of what the hell does writing matter? Not in a bad way but in a my worth as a person doesn’t reside in whether I appear to be underachieving or not kind of way. That’s a sort of important thing for me.
Sometimes when I’m in my funks about writing people say, “Don’t worry Justin; you’ll be famous some day!” or something like that. It is said to encourage and I appreciate that, but the fact is that I’m not going to be famous with many published tomes. I’ll be an anonymous little no one scribbling away in the dark with a marker. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I’d like to make my living at writing but right now I make my living by stacking books, and there’s really nothing better about one than the other.
I have some ideas of things I’d like to do that would enable me to travel more (since MCC doesn’t want to facilitate that), and almost all of them rely on me doing something else that I don’t particularly love to meet my material needs. It’s all kind of monastic when I think of things that way.
All the while I’m plugging along at one of the stories I decided to write until it’s done. For once I’m not thinking about structure, or about how this story intertwines with this and how neat this will be or any of that. I don’t have a frickin’ clue how long it’ll be either (or how long it is now; this one’s being scrawled out in my notebook). Someday it’ll be done though. I think I’ll know when it happens.
The most infuriating thing from that Merton book was him in his letters to his censor and other superiors. Man I’d never be able to be a real monk with all that fucking hierarchy. Wouldn’t really be able to be a catholic either.catholic mcc monk the marquesa's library thomas merton