As many of you know who read this stuff regularly, I will be presenting some workshops at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference in April. The folks behind the conference asked me to respond to a series of questions for posting on their web site to help with promotion. While most of the questions were fairly straightforward and easily answered, one in particular required some thought. Here, for no special reason I can think of, is that question, along with my response.
7. Which fictional character do you relate to the most, and why?
It would probably be politic to say I relate to characters like Atticus Finch or Jean Valjean or someone else with lofty moral qualities. But I am drawn to Augustus McCrae in the Larry McMurtry novel Lonesome Dove. Gus has an approach to life I agree with, best summarized by his saying to his partner, Woodrow Call, “Well, I’m glad I ain’t scairt to be lazy.”
Laziness is an overlooked virtue, as evidenced by Gus’s follow-up statement: “Hell, Call, if I worked as hard as you, there’d be no thinking done at all around this outfit.”
Just sitting and thinking may look lazy to others, but, for me, it’s how things get written. I spend a lot of time thinking about what I am going to write. Then, when I get around to actually “doing something,” I tend to get it written fairly quickly—which leaves more time for laziness.