Chatting to an online friend this week I discovered that she is real life friends with the daughter of one of my all time favourite authors. So, being the imaginative creature that I am I had a Misery moment, in that I pictured meeting that author and declaring myself her number one fan in full on Kathy Bates style.
I thought about how this meeting might go, how I would declare my manic fangirl status, and how this lovely, profoundly creative, master writer would recoil from me in abject fear…( she was described to me as a very shy lady of immense intelligence – which I don’t doubt).
It led me to thinking about what it might be like to be loved and adored by people who do so because of something that you do, rather than because they know who you are and what makes you tick. I imagine that it might be quite terrifying. If people are drawn to you because of the one aspect of yourself that you choose to put out in the world, what happens if the rest of you fails to meet their expectations?
I suppose it’s all about the ‘romance’; the assumption of tormented souls, beleaguered by creativity starving in their garrets and pouring out words that will change the world. My guess would be that reality bites. Mine does. For instance someone recently asked me about my writing process, it goes like this:
Write a bit, load the washing machine.
Write a bit more, desire coffee, realise there is no milk left, go to shop.
Write a bit, drink coffee, unload washing machine.
Write a bit, cave in to whining dog and take him for a walk.
Write a bit, wonder what to cook, realise I don’t have what I need, go back to shop…
You get the picture. No romance. I don’t suppose it is vastly different for those writers who are immensely successful – though they might be able to afford a housekeeper. My point is that we are all (writers and non writers) just people. Doing our thing and living with the fact that existence is relatively dull, with occasional redemptive moments.
So lady writer who I adore and worship, should we ever meet please don’t be afraid. I might be your number one fan but rather than come at you with a sledgehammer because you haven’t written another Jackson Brodie novel, I’m more likely to ask you who does your laundry 🙂