Once I worried that success eluded me, that my batting average was zero in a very long and very undistinguished career. Then a new layer overlapped that one and I feared that I was one of those lunatics with a built in anti-success mechanism. You know the maladjusted, guilty ones who manage to sabotage everything that they undertake. The next, obvious worry was that my incompetence prevented me from achieving anything at all.
The only thing that pulled me through decades of this was settling upon the idea that I'm an artist. I had always avoided such consideration. The term seems to drip self-importance and reeks of conceit. Now, those with the grand gifts, clearly they're artists. If you have the gift for self promotion and the gift, you have it made. Jim Rosenquist painted all of those magnificent, mammoth images but, if he hadn't worn those paper trousers to those first Manhattan cocktail parties, we might never have seen them.
Elvis had Colonel Parker.
Now, at this late stage, I realize that I don't write them for you. I don't write them for me, either. I write them for the stars and the seas and the birds and for the mountains. I write them because they're there.