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How To Know You’ve Reached The Peak Of Your Writing Career

If you ever write a book, I hope you’ll be able to say this when you’re finished.

Here’s what Kurt Vonnegut said about finishing Slaughterhouse Five.

“I felt after I finished Slaughterhouse-Five that I didn’t have to write at all anymore if I didn’t want to. It was the end of some sort of career. I don’t know why, exactly. I suppose that flowers, when they’re through blooming, have some sort of awareness of some purpose having been served. Flowers didn’t ask to be flowers and I didn’t ask to be me. At the end of Slaughterhouse-Five…I had a shutting-off feeling…that I had done what I was supposed to do and everything was OK.”

Wouldn’t that be an awesome feeling to say about your career, your passion, your chosen profession?

It’s like when John Elway walked away after winning two straight Super Bowls for the Denver Broncos. He had nothing else to prove. His work was done.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Slaughterhouse Five, but I love this quote from Vonnegut. I don’t have that feeling of having “done what I was supposed to do” as a writer yet—and my guess is that you don’t either—but I hope we’ll both reach that point some day.

Great reminder from Kurt Vonnegut.

Sources: (Reddit, Google Books)

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17 Comments Post a comment
  1. Reblogged this on The Student Becomes The Teacher.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 7, 2014
  2. suneuys #

    Wow, to be able to say that or feel that about any job or career would be fantastic. That you had done what you were supposed to do and everything was OK.

    Like

    April 7, 2014
  3. Sounds too good to be true . .

    Liked by 1 person

    April 7, 2014
  4. This perspective is foreign to me. I only know writers who think they have more to say.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 7, 2014
  5. And there are few things sadder than a person who, at the end of life, feels their purpose was not fulfilled.

    Like

    April 7, 2014
  6. I think that feeling would be awesome if you had it at the end of your career, but I do wonder what happens to those who get that feeling nearer the beginning? Vonnegut wrote something like 8 more books after Slaughterhouse, seems like a lot if you thought you had finished something. Maybe I just like a long journey 🙂 It makes me think of what Elizabeth Gilbert talks very eloquently about that in a TED talk that you might have seen: how to continue being an artist, knowing that, quite possibly, your best work is behind you. -Tania http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius

    Like

    April 7, 2014
  7. Denis Stirler #

    Reblogged this on Denis blogt!.

    Like

    April 7, 2014
  8. deweydecimalsbutler #

    This is well-timed. I recently reviewed Breakfast of Champions, and the first thing I had to say about it was that it was clear the author was no longer obligated to care and that his career was established. I didn’t even know about this quote when I said it, but Breakfast of Champions makes it all too clear.

    And as for the feeling of closure, it’s an elusive feeling, and I’m glad Vonnegut was able to get there. It’s an exclusive club for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 8, 2014
  9. Great quote. I think I’ve had mini similar moments, though not with writing specifically, and the OK was missing in that usually it just meant I was like, ‘So, what’s next?’ So perhaps it wasn’t the feeling that he describes at all…but a great quote:-) Thanks for sharing. H xxx

    Like

    April 8, 2014
  10. Maybe that is Harper Lee felt when she finished To Kill a Mockingbird.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 8, 2014
  11. Thank god Steve Jobs didn’t think this way.

    Like

    April 8, 2014
  12. Reblogged this on agentbaure's Blog.

    Like

    April 21, 2014
  13. Reblogged this on Siyah Edebiyat.

    Like

    April 22, 2014
  14. 36 from now: You; Will be

    Liked by 1 person

    April 7, 2016
  15. Reblogged this on and commented:
    7 06 .

    Like

    April 7, 2016
  16. ;D . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    April 7, 2016

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