Writing Until I Drop

A few months ago, Andrew Sullivan began writing a weekly column for New York. As someone who read The Dish, Sullivan’s daily blog, for years and years and years, I welcomed his weekly column. I haven’t always enjoyed it, but I still read it.

In Sullivan’s column last week, he closed with a story on St. Thomas Aquinas who, after working for years on his Summa Theologica, suddenly stopped, and never wrote another word.

Sullivan began:

What would happen to you if you wrote 4,000 words a day for years and years? Not so long ago, something like this question came up for me in my crazed years of blogging. It’s also surely relevant to the journalists who now have to produce daily, hourly copy, then also tweet and Instagram and go on TV and on and on … until they, well what, exactly? The correct answer is: Drop dead.

This is a thought that’s preoccupied me, too.

I’ve written a lot the last eleven years, and sometimes I wonder how much further I can go. Will I slow down until I cease? Will I simply and suddenly stop, as Aquinas did, and write no more? Or will I “drop dead,” as Sullivan says is the correct answer?

I don’t know.

My fear is that one day it will be like the wheels coming off. Everything breaks apart, and I can write no more. That one truly frightens me.

I don’t know.

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