The next steps in my life

Saturday, 31 October 1998

Step One: I have to rehabilitate myself financially. I’m fed up with being a cashless fool. This empowerment will be achieved in two steps: 1) debt is zero, and 2) money is more.

Step Two: I have to buy a car.

Then, the ambition that started long before Step Two and that will still be important long after Step Two: to publish what I write.

These days, I am very business orientated with this ambition. And what person who starts a business, or who wants to market a product does not believe in their product? Will such a person invest time, effort and money in a product if they don’t believe that they can succeed? This is how I feel about my “product”.

Eugene Marais is Eugene Marais. Andre Brink is Andre Brink. And I am me. There are the giants of Afrikaans literature, and then there are office workers who write poetry while the boss is on a field trip. But I believe if there is a product that I can deliver from the depth of my being, it is my writing.

I also don’t allow myself to be seduced anymore by the idealism of not wanting to sell out to the establishment. Literary products become part of the marketplace at some point like any farm product or consumer item. You want someone to publish your work; people invest their money in you and your product; they hope to earn some profit from their investment.

Writers may be unique in many ways, but in the end they do what most other working people do: They use their abilities to create a product, and they are compensated accordingly.