Muddling Along

I just read this that AS Byatt said at Edinburgh International Book Festival about why she’s a pessimist and why there is a need to be when a person looks around at the environment, politics, and human relations. (Although she is overly optimistic about the book world!)

“Humans are inadequate and stupid creatures who sooner or later make a mess, and those who are trying to do good do a lot more damage than those who are muddling along.”

And I tend to agree. It can be true that those who think they are doing good can do just the opposite — meddling instead of muddling. Probably because they think they have the answers, when they don’t. Whereas if you have no answers and just do your thing in a small, humble way without any great expectations, you leave less of a mess.

I always think that my writing is just me muddling along. It’s not like I’m trying to save anything or anyone or have an agenda. I just write with the hopes that someone reads and the fantastic creative challenge it takes to write a book and the fact that I get to exist so much in my creative world. And then I do my best not to leave a terrible mess, environmentally or socially or whatever, in my wake. I just tend to my own and let the rest take care of itself. And I wonder if there may not be some wisdom in that. Not some ego stuff like I know best, but just a simple I do my best.


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