Or, what a moment of reflection from Charles Bukowski can teach us about work.
I love how densely packed it is. It starts with an anecdote and finishes somewhere extraordinary. It says that your struggle is everything but really means nothing. Yet it’s so simple to read.
It’s from Hollywood.
I cracked a beer and turned on the tv. There was a fight on ESPN. They were really slugging it out. The fighters were better conditioned now than in my youth. I marveled at the energy they could expend and still keep going and going. The months of roadwork and gymwork that fighters had to endure seemed almost intolerable. And then, those last two or three intense days before a big fight. Condition was the key. Talent and guts were a must but without condition they were negated.
I liked to watch the fights. Somehow it reminded me of writing. You needed the same thing, talent, guts and condition. Only the condition was mental, spiritual. You were never a writer. You had to become a writer each time you sat down to the machine. What was hard sometimes was finding that chair and sitting in it. Sometimes you couldn’t sit in it. Like everybody else in the world, for you, things got in the way: small troubles, big troubles, continuous slammings and bangings. You had to be in condition to endure what was trying to kill you. That’s the message I got from the fights, or watching the horses run, or the way the jocks kept overcoming bad luck, spills on the track and personal little horrors off the track. I wrote about life, haha. But what really astonished me was the immense courage of some of the people living that life. That kept me going.