For love or money? Part one of a three-part series.
When I was a kid, I confess I wanted to be rich and famous. My dream, in fact, was to be a rock star in the vein of McCartney or Lennon or Paul Simon. Why did I think this could ever be so? I didn’t really, but it was what I wanted. My chances looked bad: I was no prodigy on the guitar, my singing voice was best described as tolerable, my sense of rhythm and time were shaky and I had no self-confidence. I persevered, though. I played in bands, I tried to write songs, I worked on my guitar chops daily. Despite my efforts, stardom remained elusive.
In my later teens, as the rock arena stayed just out of reach, I began to consider other potential occupations. College loomed and after that The Working World, and with rock and roll seeming to be a road to certain poverty, I needed a new dream. But what else to do? Anything involving math was definitely out. Same with sports. I couldn’t draw… But I could write. Or at least I could write better than I could do most other things, which wasn’t saying much, but it was a start.
With my newfound sense of self, my gaze shifted from the rock arena to the writer’s desk. Specifically, Hemingway’s desk. Never mind that I had no ideas for novels, had never written much of anything I was proud of and hardly had the balls to drive an ambulance in war-torn Spain – or any other war, for that matter – I wanted to be like Hemingway. Dammit. I wanted to be the tortured artist, the pained soul who toiled over single words for days, who sought the truth, who could delve deep into the human condition and come back with a very fine read – and some money.
It was not to be.
NEXT: THE SHORT UNHAPPY LIFE OF JEFF, THE WRITER