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Inconsistency



Mom always told me that consistency was necessary for sanity. A long time ago, I gave up on sanity. But, I know what she means. Consistency offers comfort, it allows expectations to be filled.

As a reader, the idea of consistency makes me think about favorite authors. I am one of the many readers out there who finds a book she loves and wants to read everything the author has created, expecting more of the same genius. Rarely do I find this is the case, but I continue to try (the definition of insanity?).

I'm sure many factors contribute to a writer's inconsistency. Writing is something that takes time, patience, perspective, and it can't be rushed. If it is ...
This might account for the fact that I have absolutely fallen in love with, say, The Liar's Club. In turn, I fell for Karr. Then I read Cherry ...

I was in love with Cather in the Rye, so I fell for Salinger, but then I read Nine Stories ...

I found myself consumed by Kafka, who I continued to read until I became utterly confused, worried that maybe I wasn't "getting it."

This scenario holds true for many writers on my "sometimes favorites" list. Yet, I continue to read their work. It might not be such a coincidence that many of my all time favorite writers are the most consistent--Jeffrey Eugenides, for instance. It can't go unmentioned, however, that Eugenides spent nine years writing his second book, Middlesex, and it shows. He didn't have a successful book only to then ride the wave of publication and begin publishing just to publish. He spent the same care, time, and effort with his second book as he did The Virgin Suicides.

I think that many times the business of writing overshadows the art of writing. But then, sometimes it doesn't. Mary Karr's new memoir Lit, for example, is far more representative of Karr's potential than Cherry (in my humble opinion).

It seems as though time feeds an author's consistency (though I am aware that my examples are limited here) and I wonder if this is true in life as well. When we take our time, structure our lives, and find routines, are we more efficient? Perhaps. Can I implement this, in writing or otherwise, in order to create and put forth my best work, my best self? Who knows. I can try. I wonder ...

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