And I want them all to knock it off. I want the Grown-Up Realism Party or whatever they're calling themselves to stop spreading these viscious rumors about how publishing or whatever your personal interest is is so hard that basically you shouldn't ever try. I admit I have to come to terms with the facts of reality. Surprisingly (this is especially surprising to me), it's not the potential for esteem or success that compels me to write. It's the need. I need to write the way an addict needs its drug of choice. The fortunate part is that I probably won't have to sleep with someone to get my fix when money's tight (I don't know that this is true - I'm not really IN the writing world yet). It is the knowledge that I sometimes spend as long to craft an email as some people spend doing their actual jobs. I'm afraid that if I don't pursue this somewhat lofty goal I will begin to save everything I jot down in my notebook and share them as anectdotes at parties in a frenzied state and you will never, ever get me to shut up. That sounds like something of a nervous breakdown. How would you like that? I'm going to have a nervous breakdown at your party! There's no quicker way to kill the buzz of a good party (other than passing out too early on someone's couch. That pretty much kills the buzz for you.) than when you have to call an ambulance because one of your friends is panicking themselves into a state of shock.
"If you didn't have to work for the rest of your life, what would you do? ThenWhen I tell people I want to be a writer, sometimes they get all cheeky and ask if I'm going to write The Great American Novel. The truth is that I don't want to write The Great American Novel. I didn't even read The Great American Novel in high school when we were supposed to read it over summer vacation. Instead, I watched All My Children and ate Oreos all summer and when fall came I got the Cliff Notes version and then I cheated off someone else's quiz when they weren't looking. I just want to amuse people, to connect with them in a way I feel is sometimes more difficult to articulate in person, and to make them think a little. But not too much, not so much that they suffer an acute panic attack or break down in fits of tearful despair.
do that. Oh, I thought you were going to say 'accountant.' You want to be a
writer? There's no money in that. It's funny, writer sounds so much like
I'm twenty-five. Therefore, I write this with virtually no authority or proof whatsoever. But if it were up to others, I would be in law school studying to be some sort of regulatory something-or-other with a sensible, nice haircut wearing a magenta Gucci suit with shoulder pads (actual suit once pressed upon me).