Canelli is writing a book. I mean, really writing a book. Last week he said he had about 21,000 words. By now, he’s probably pushing 26,000 words. That’s halfway to a submittable manuscript. And he’s the one teaching at a boarding school (where does he get the time to write?). Meanwhile I’m sitting around, waiting for the spring semester to start for my writing program so that I’ll have the discipline and motivation that’s borne from having deadlines dropped in my lap.
There are many reasons why I’m “stalling,” but the one more relevant to this site right now is that I’m not sure what kind of writer I want to be–what kind of writer I’m capable of being. I want to be someone who can produce a Gravity’s Rainbow, but I fear I might only be capable of a Jurassic Park (the book, not the movie–the book is actually very entertaining, but its flaws are glaring and starting to be cringe-worthy). But that’s not even the big one. Can I be the kind of writer who is capable of producing a book or series of books which can be made into Hollywood blockbusters that make me tons of fucking money? This is what I most fear not being able to achieve. Especially while I’m alive, because posthumous success means dick all to someone who’s decided that selling out is their new life’s ambition.