by Jeffe Kennedy
First off, little plug for my friend Veronica Scott's debut release, Priestess of the Nile. It goes on sale tomorrow, but you can pre-order it on Carina here or Amazon here or Barnes & Noble here. Ancient Egypt for the win!
So, when I see the topic of what is my wildest writer dream, the first thing that pops into my mind is that scene from Bedazzled. Yes, yes - the movie with Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley. For one of his wishes, he's a famous writer. I tried to find a still of the scene, but apparently everyone thinks a still without Elizabeth Hurley in it is a waste of kilobytes. Actually, I'd be hard pressed to argue with that.
At any rate, he strolls into the fancy restaurant/club and everyone flocks to him, hanging on every witty word. He's wealthy, famous and admirable.
For some reason, this is, in the dark, narcissistic corners of my heart, the nucleus of my writer's yearning.
When I separate the dream from this emotional component, I come up with different stuff. After all, I know that writers, even famous, wealthy and admirable ones, are just never rock stars. I wrote about this before on my personal blog, about how even Neil Gaiman isn't a rock star. But defining what success is can be a daunting task.
Naturally, I made a spreadsheet.
Yeah, you all knew that was coming.
I tried to be completely honest with myself, to parse out the dream. I made columns for the different aspects of success. I hope you all appreciate that I'm sharing this, because now you'll see just how silly I am. I titled my columns Practical, Financial, Artistic, Ego and Altruistic. Under those, I listed everything I could possibly want: riches, fame, nobel prizes, being celebrated by posterity.
Yeah, it's all in there.
Then I prioritized and looked at which things were really most important to me. After all, Jane Austen is a celebrated writer, but died never knowing it. Is that really worth wanting?
So, my goals are staged, with steps to reach them. Getting enough money coming in to support myself through writing is the first and foremost dream. Others, like the white house overlooking the Mediterranean, come later. I decided that having a theme park built around my characters is not something I need. I would love to see a movie made of one of my stories. Most everything in the Ego column I consider stuff to be wary of wanting. That chocolate-covered heroin for writers.
Still, if you see me in the bar sometime, feel free to run up and exclaim about how witty, wonderful and admirable I am.
I'll definitely buy you a drink.