Focused, Not Irresponsible


In “Writers Ask’ published by the editors of Glimmer Train Stories Diana Bishop interviews writer/teacher T.C. Boyle . An excerpt;

“I only play a couple of games in my life. One is to make art, and the other is to teach, which is a pleasure for me. I’m totally committed… I like to communicate with an audience…..I could be serving on boards. I could be going to meetings at the university. I could be doing lectures. I could be writing screenplays, I could be writing theater. But I don’t want to do that. I only want to do these few things because I think I can devote myself to them fully and maybe excel at them.

I don’t play music anymore. I don’t play tennis. I like to joke that the most competitive thing I do nowadays is walk in the woods by myself.”

To which Diana replies, “So you’re very focused.”

I don’t know which I like more, what he says, or what she says.

I have thought of myself as a generalist, but “nowadays” I am shedding layers of activities. As I don’t do one volunteer assignment after another, guilt crosses my path. Fortunately for me, guilt has never chosen to be a companion. Even so, I have thought of myself as irresponsible.

Now I know that not to be true. I am focused.