Sunday, February 19, 2017

Quality, Quantity, Ramblings

I guess I've just never really understood the quality over quantity thing. Because, like, you can't have quality without a little quantity. You spend forty years working on one book, one play, one painting, whatever, chances are it's gonna be crap. You get bogged down, you know? And there's no room to grow.

Like, sometimes I'll have a week where I just write, like, thirty poems. And probably half of them are gonna be crap. I know they're gonna be crap. I don't care. Sometimes that's kind of the point of them. I'll be on my third poem, and it'll be completely worthless. But then on my twenty-third, maybe I'll try something weird with the line breaks, something I wouldn't have thought of before, and maybe that'll somehow make poem number three salvageable.

I'd much rather publish twelve pretty good books, and maybe they're not perfect, but maybe someone will read them and they'll Matter to that person, than spend a decade writing an amazing literary masterpiece that no one outside of an English class is ever going to care about. Because sometimes, maybe most times, it's not even about all of the perfection you put into something you've dedicated your life to. Sometimes it's a completely random throwaway line that catches readers, that makes them care, that ends up meaning something. And I figure you've got a better chance of giving someone that thing that Matters if you have a bunch of things out there in the world.

You produce enough quantity, and some of it's bound to be quality. And the more you do the better you get. Better is a side-effect of more. And stories die, sometimes. Paintings, songs. You spend so much time trying to make this one thing better, and all the heart leaks out.

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