“How I Became a Famous Writer” Discussion

http://www.oxfordamerican.org/item/373-how-i-became-a-famous-writer

This article, which I will be discussing with the class, is one of those pieces that I know I was meant to find. In the beginning of the year we were asked to search around for different literary publications and see which ones interested us most. I found this title on Oxford American and aimlessly clicked. From the very title, “How I became a Famous Writer,” I knew this essay would have a few curve balls.

I found a lot of my own style in this article, which helped remind me of the kind of tone I want to take in my evolution essay. The semi self-deprecating humor to serve a larger and satyrical purpose is very familiar to me, and it kept me engaged and chuckling with each line. The advice answered “obvious” questions in a round about way, and it was encouraging to hear again, though I’ve heard it much before; The path is not obvious. There is no set path to being an artist, there is only the luck you find, the timing you cannot control, and what is inside of you.

My favorite passage is this:

“We become who we become for reasons we cannot always know—because of what we saw our mothers love, or our fathers hate, and because of what we need deep down inside the parts of us that others don’t know about, such as love, or security, or adoration. For me, what I needed was the freedom to drink before noon and work in my underwear. And I needed a human being who would allow me to work in my underwear, and that human is my wife.”

I spend so much time dwelling on how I am going to get to my dreams, and how impossible those dreams are, and how slim those chances are, and though I know things “fall into place,” it is terrifying to live with such uncertainty. But I love it. I don’t love it because I love being anxious about how I’m going to make a dollar in the “real world” or if anything I EVER do will amount to anything or if I’m this enough or that enough for a casting agent or director to choose me, but I love it. The it is the thing that is inside of me that keeps me going, that part of me that others don’t know about. Heck, I probably don’t know it either. But reading this essay was a great confirmation that it’s all shit, and it’s great. I know following my heart and doing what I love will bring me to where I need to be, and I guess on the way to that I’ll learn to be a better artist and person.

And looking at where I am right now even, I don’t feel so far off.

 

 

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