I just draw pictures. Nothing else. I’m a pretty quick artist,” he said. “I’ll draw whatever comes to mind. But what is that if not a self-indulgent act?”
But he was not a particularly expressive man. He kept to himself, was not particularly well-mannered and was not a natural actor, despite his claims of being a gifted actor. He had no sense of humor, could not hold parties, and was a bad cook. When asked why he liked writing, he replied, “I want to be a musician.”
He was not especially good at sports. He was a little slow-twitchy, and it took him two years, working on his own, before he got an athletic bent.
He had some skill as a writer — though no talent — but he could not write. No matter how close he got to writing a good, strong novel, he was never able to start one because he lacked even the rudimentary tools of a writer — like a writer. It took him three years to write a book and three years more to finish a novel.
He had some interest in politics, but nothing that he could call an obsession; even the odd day-dream, as happened to him in the spring of 1875 — a night when he dreamed that the U. S. Constitution was in the hands of people who wanted to destroy it. But then there were other dreams, and even when the dreams came true there was still a bit of resentment against his lack of imagination, the lack of his imagination.
“It is as if all my friends were of one opinion about all the things that happened to them,” he said. “It’s like the old saying about children: You always tell yourself that somebody else is wrong and always believe in yourself because you have so much to believe in.”
There were times when he was not really sure what he thought even before he wrote his books. He said he thought he knew how to lead his life and what to do in his life, but he never did anything; nor did he think he knew how to act a part. He was a quiet man. He never wrote.
He was one for doing “nothing,” in spite of the fact that he was one for doing a lot and that he was one for doing many things.
At one point he became a “cattle farmer.” He was unable to herd animals for a very long time, not because he did not want