We read many books.
Some stand out, way ahead from the others.
I listed my Top 11 in a posted titled Books, Books, Books back in 2012. Is it possible to even have a Top 5, or a Top 10 or Top 100 top books list?
Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, The Grapes of Wrath, was #1 on my short list.
Steinbeck kept a diary while he wrote The Grapes of Wrath. It was published as “Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath.”
Maria Popova wrote a must-read post yesterday titled: How Steinbeck Used The Diary as a Tool of Discipline where she describes the book as a “remarkable living record of his creative journey, in which this extraordinary writer tussles with excruciating self-doubt but plows forward anyway, with equal parts gusto and grist, driven by the dogged determination to do his best…his daily journaling becomes a practice both redemptive and transcendent.” Here’s a Steinbeck quote from the post:
I don’t know whether I could write a decent book now. That is the greatest fear of all. I’m working at it but I can’t tell. Something is poisoned in me. You pages — ten of you — you are the dribble cup — you are the cloth to wipe up the vomit. Maybe I can get these fears and disgusts on you and then burn you up. Then maybe I won’t be so haunted. Have to pretend it’s that way anyhow.
I reflected on Steinbeck’s thoughts. Two conclusions came to mind.
1) Steinbeck had doubt. Me and Steinbeck. Sympatico. Misery loves company.
2) Steinbeck had doubt. Steinbeck, STEINBECK, had doubt. I don’t stand a chance.
If you are writing, building or creating anything and have doubts, this post is worth your time: Don’t miss: How Steinbeck Used TheDiary as a Tool of Discipline.
And yes, I bought the book.