I often think, long and hard, what it is that I really want from this writers life? During these times of contemplation my mind races past the work required to convert an idea into a workable and interesting plot. Past the hundreds of thousands of laptop key presses that change this plot idea into the first draft. Past the hours of research, in libraries, internet or personal memories. Past the search for publication choice via agent, print copy or e-book. Then dealing with the rejection, which we all know will happen, but still hurts when it does. In my dream I’m signing copies of my best seller in the front window of Waterstones. It’s that dream of that moment which spurs me on. I think. So if we dig deeper.
Is it the chance of fame that makes do what I do and keeps me going? Actually, I’m not really bothered about that. In fact, I would much rather be Bernie Taupin than Elton John. (I’ve never tried to write a song though) and I don’t want to be recognised in the street either. (I don’t think)
Must be the money then, you say, and I admit that some extra cash would be a help. We all need money to exchange for goods; for the necessities of life. So that may be part of the reason but to admit that, to a creative audience, makes me sound a bit shallow, I suspect. I do love the writing process, as I’ve mentioned in blog posts before and that doesn’t change. But I wonder now if I never had the dream, would I still write? There are lots of other things I could do with my time. Golf, for one seems to occupy lots of time and lots of people are addicted. I tried it many years ago but as someone said. “Golf spoils a good walk”. Also, when I did play I never woke a three o’clock in the morning thinking of a new way to hit the ball.
So we’ve now established that the desire for increased personal wealth does play a part in the dream. The writing process appeals to the starving artist in me; the one that saw me living in a top floor garret in Paris when I was young. (But that’s another dream that never happened). On closer examination would a small amount of fame hurt? There are hundreds of writers out there, very successful writers too, who manage to shop, unrecognised, in the supermarket but manage to get tickets for their favourite concert via doors which only fame opens. Perhaps a bit of fame would be acceptable then.
So as I, in reality and statistically, know I am unlikely to produce a best seller and attract money and fame, it must be the process which keeps me writing. And the dream. of course. So I’ll keep going. It could happen. Maybe. Perhaps. One day.
What do you want?