Monday, May 10, 2010
What's your price?
This last weekend I went back to my favorite author, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, to re-read the last pages of
The Angel's Game. I had read the last part so fast, and there were so many things going on, I had to go back to make more sense of the ending, which left me reeling, almost breathless, when I devoured it the first time.
Since you have probably noticed I'm slightly obsessed with this talented Spanish author, I'll just say in my defense that his writing is addictive. The Shadow of the Wind, with its wonderful, real characters, is still with me. And what can I say about Angel's? Well, the beginning hooked me and hasn't let go of me yet.
Judge for yourself:
A writer never forgets the first time he accepted a few
coins or a word of praise in exchange for a story. He will never
forget the sweet poison of vanity in his blood, and the belief
that, if he succeeds in not letting anyone discover his lack of
talent, the dream of literature will provide him with a roof
over his head, a hot meal at the end of the day, and what he
covets the most: his name printed on a miserable piece of
paper that surely will outlive him. A writer is condemned to
remember that moment, because from then on he is doomed
and his soul has a price.
Needless to say, after reading these words I was so invested in the story (involving David, a dark, tragic writer hero), I couldn't put the book down. It called right to my soul, being an aspiring author and all. I mean, who hasn't felt at least once that satisfaction of receiving praise for something we've created, be it words, images, a scrapbook, art, etc.
My writing will never tempt the devil to commission me a book in exchange for my soul, but there are things I pay in return for being able to write. I don't sleep well; I don't read as much as I used to; I don't scrapbook or garden or do any other things that may detract me from my writing.
On the other hand, I won't give up my time with my husband and my kids. Or my faith. Or my devotion for the Argentine national futbol team. Like I said, I wouldn't trade my soul for getting my book published (crossing my fingers it'll never come to that). But, let's face it. The day only has 24 hours. There's a limited number of things we can do with it.
So, what do you give up in return for your writing, or photography, or other hobbies/interests you may have. What's the line you'll never cross?
I'm very much looking forward to reading your comments!