Sometimes I think about books. Not books I've written, or even books that I've read. Sometimes I think about books lined up in the tiny media section at Target, the chosen few that have been hand-selected by God only knows who for our reading pleasure.
Some of them I've heard of, maybe even one or two I've actually read, but the remainder have titles like Confessions of a Single Shop-Lifting Nanny who's out to Bone her Employer splashed across a hot pink cover, perhaps a poorly drawn cock-eyed diamond ring arbitrarily slapped below. These are books I'd never think to read, especially knowing I can catch the made-for-TV movie on Lifetime or some other whine-fest network six months down the line. These are also books I'd never think to write, but maybe not for the reasons you'd assume.
THESE seem to be the books that people [let's be honest—women] are attracted to. We want the warm fuzzies from a Mr. Big-type character who pulls up in his limo and delivers a bouquet of red balloons on a birthday that others seem to have forgotten. The greatest danger in these stories is miscommunication—for surely the male lead is undyingly in love with the female lead, even though she hasn't figured it out yet. I realize how sarcastic this may be coming off [sorry, that's a problem for me sometimes], but I'm serious—these are the books that sell. It's frustrating that I don't write these types of books for the sole reason that, again, these are the books that sell.
Tim Kasher was right when he said, "Art is hard." Once you've honed in on your particular creative outlet, once you've realized the one thing on this entire planet that you might actually be good at, it's impossible to bring yourself to do anything else. No, not just impossible—it's compromise. I know what I'm good at and I have to do that thing—it's not even a matter of want anymore, it slowly, casually turns into a matter of need. The notion of success, the notion of anyone else caring, remains a million light-years away. The two—art and success—cannot be allowed to meld for fear that they will simultaneously disappear, and one will no longer be able to exist without the other.
Yes, sometimes I think about books. About books I'm not writing, and smile because I understand that I was never meant to...