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Bruce Sterling

keeps me amused, but it’s not a big profit center. (laughter)

I do quite a lot of nonfiction writing for magazines. Tomorrow Now has come in Italy, and I’m going over to there in a month or so. I travel a lot. I go to Europe for various events. I do public speaking. I do magazine journalism, and web log activity, and some mailing list stuff. And I write novels. The one thing I wish I were doing more of is writing more short stories.

David:  What gives you hope?

Bruce: I like to quote Vaclav Havel on that topic. He says that “hope is not the conviction that things will turn out well, but the conviction that what you are doing makes sense, no matter how things turn out.” I think that’s just a more productive attitude. I think I am doing much the sort of things that I ought to be doing, and I think that my own activities make a certain amount of sense. I’d never claim that they make sense for everybody, but I feel they make sense for me, and I actively enjoy it when I’m able to do things that give me a sense of personal fulfillment. I like to increase the sensation of self-actualization–when you become more and more like yourself. To become more like myself–that doesn’t really require a Pollyanna attitude on my part.

The thing that’s good about self-actualization is that you’re not aspiring to become perfect. You’re not trying to become soulful, morally better or angelically good. You’re not subjecting yourself to some kind of idealistic framework from outside time and space. You become more willing to recognize yourself as a mammalian, physical, living entity, moving through time, having mass and occupying space. (laughter) I think since that’s the truth, you should come to terms with that, and you should arrange your life in a way in which that knowledge makes some sense. So, I don’t really have to drink a liter of hope to get out of bed in the morning. What I need to get out of bed in the morning is something to compel my interest–and there’s a lot of that stuff around right now.

David:  Is there anything that we haven’t spoke about that you’d like to add?

Bruce: Go to my Web sites and check out all my pals. The one thing I might usefully add is that I belong to a creative milieu of people who share my attitudes and interests. I’m not a lone genius working in some isolated garret. I’ve always been very dependent on the kindness of friends and strangers, and I get a lot of my best ideas from my contemporaries. I myself am not a particularly fascinating guy. But I’m good at finding people, and publicizing people, who are really into some interesting things. So don’t get too fixated on the corny routine of the author’s personality cult. Instead, see if I can’t show you something that fires your imagination. 

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