Life as an author changes from day to day. It's the weirdest job in that you can be on top of the world one day, and totally demoralized the next. I was in that latter category, wondering if maybe I should have majored in molecular biology (or at least found out what that means!) So I went to a small writers' conference this weekend, and I took a screenwriting class (again!) because I really wanted to understand the three act play. This time I asked questions (they use Star Wars and I am the one person on the planet who has not seen this movie), but this time, I knew about the Clone Wars and more about the character arc because my kids talk about it all the time. (I have tried so many times to sit through it, and I just don't care.) I have seen the second one!
Anyhoo, I came home understanding the three-act play, that I do not ever want to write screenplays (it's a visual medium, and not mine) and that I can't see the forest through the trees at the moment. I tried to write a book that was perhaps beyond my means and that is demoralizing. I'm writing a young adult novel and went and looked at the stacks and stacks of authors doing the same thing.
I know this is weird, but I never had the dream of being a bestseller (shh. Don't tell my publishers.) It was more about doing something that mattered to me (making people laugh, making people question their beliefs, search within themselves, that kind of thing.)
But now I wonder if I can't do that better in person. I look at people like Peter Walsh (Oprah's organizing guy) and I think, wouldn't it be great to know so clearly what you were about? Do you think it's a midlife crisis?
I read this really sad obituary the other day, and a beautiful, young 30 year-old woman died after childbirth and her baby died too. The obituary said she'd realized her lifelong dream of being a mother and then went to heaven. And that she'd always be known for her love of designer jeans. I don't really care if I'm known for the writing. It comes right down to that. In the end, I think I want it said that I had compassion and mercy on those the church had forgotten and she made us laugh. What about you?