I have to admit I’ve never thought about what I like least about being a writer. I’ve always focused on the positive—the fact that I’ve been fortunate to have found an art form that aligns with my peculiarities. And while this book is my ninth, it’s only recently that I’ve begun to think of myself as a writer. Before, I pictured myself as a guy who wrote, the way more practical folks garden or work in their basement shops. I don’t know if that makes sense or even makes a difference—but that’s how it played out in my head.
But that’s ducking the question, isn’t it? I guess the main regret might be the fact there’s little down time. It’s hard to sit down and watch a mindless TV show—I get antsy—a bit unsettled. I feel negligent. Now there are many things I ignore—in fact, ignoring things is one of my stronger personality traits. Not saying it’s always a positive trait, but that’s another story. Once in a while, I think the general good would be best served if I could turn off my current project, just banish it from my thoughts for a night or two, but I don’t seem to have that type of power. No complaints, just an observation.
—Curtis Smith has written nine books and his stories and essays have appeared in over seventy literary journals. His fiction has been named to the Best American Short Stories Distinguished Stories list. His most recent book is Beasts and Men.