Recently, I have been bored

listening to my own voice…

that’s bad. It means, the thoughts I think are good

really aren’t good, and the only way to know this

is to listen to them, when saying them

out loud.

I was trying to give a straight dose of truth to a friend

but all I wanted to do was to stop talking.

This happened more than once.

I was in a bookstore, explaining

why my friend doesn’t like to read

“You see, most people think they should like to read

but they don’t really. They pick-up a book ever-so-often

and the best they get are acquaintances. They don’t find true friends

between the pages.

I don’t feel a compulsion to keep reading. I hate most books, like I hate most people.

It’s the crowd at church in the foyer. You might like to see them for 5 minutes a week,

but no more than that, and I don’t have a compulsion to keep reading…

Sometimes, there’s a person you want to listen to

because

they say something

profound—

that’s like a sentence you read in a book.”

Needless to say, my friend quit listening to me

and I quit talking.

He found someone he knew in the bookstore, and talked to them

while I browsed.

On the way home, we were discussing fame.

“There’s no undiscovered writers,” I said.

“That’s statistically impossible,” he said. My friend is a mathematician, so I probably should believe him.

“What I mean is, even untalented hacks get published, when they shouldn’t. Editors are looking for the next great writer. They are well-read people. They read new stuff every day. Their taste is not subjective. I can’t stand how people say ‘getting published is a subjective process based on the taste of the editors and the market.'”

“Doesn’t luck factor into it?” My friend asked.

“Yes—but it has nothing to do with how well something is written. Most people recognize that Steinbeck was a talented poet.”

“Why was he?” My friend asked.

“In the Grapes of Wrath, he describes dirt from the dustbowl. He does this beautifully. Anybody who can describe dirt for 3 pages, and you still want to keep reading, is a talented writer.”

My friend seemed to accept this explanation.

He feels better when he talks to people

I feel worse,

but I like talking to him.

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