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I'm Not Sure This is a Good Idea

4 min read

This is a story about hindsight...


Imagine this: you've spent your whole life dreaming of becoming a published author, with a fucktonne of readers; perhaps being a bestselling author. Then, one day, you hit the jackpot: your books are flying off the shelves; you have a ton of readers around the world. Thousands of people read your writing every day. Millions read what you wrote every year. Are you happy? Are you content?

What was your objective?

Did you want to get paid for doing something you love? Did you want to convert your love of writing into a profession? Did you want approval; did you need for a publisher to tell you that what you wrote was good, before you'd believe it for yourself? Did you want fame and adulation? Did you need for the general public - en masse - to recognise your brilliance, by luxuriating in the delicious prose which decorates the pages of your books? You've got it now. Are you happy?


Suddenly you feel very exposed. Your psyche is exposed for all to see. Was it really worth it? With all the money in the world - the best paid author in the business - was it worth the effort, and the sacrifice? Was it worth it to be out there in the world, for everyone to judge?

Now the academics will pore over your words, gaining so-called "insight" into things which never existed; imagining that there is more deep meaning in your writing than ever existed; creating layer-upon-layer of intellectual mastubatory wankstain bullshit, if you're so lucky as to be considered a literary figure of great importance.

You must remain enigmatic. Never explain yourself. Culture your eccentricities: this is your life now. You are creating a myth; a legend. You have to maintain a certain image, if you want to achieve a cult following, and to be somewhat immortalised, insofar as making your way onto the undergrad reading list of an English degree at a substandard academic institution; well-thumbed copies of your book being kept on the shelves of every pretentious student in the land.

Still, is it worth it? Is this what you wanted?

Still, you have to ask yourself, why did you embark upon this fool's errand? Why did you start writing in the first place? What was the point? When will you be satisfied? When will you say that enough is enough?


There's a backlash. People hate you now. The mood of the country has turned against you. Your so-called 'overnight' success (which took decades to achieve) which inflated your ego to the point that you thought you would be welcome in the national dialogue - the daily discourse - was grossly miscalculated. People fucking hate you. You're the cunt who wrote those bestselling books, and in the popular imagination you're another elitist wealthy shitbag, disconnected from the plight of ordinary people no matter how humble your origins were.

Why did you do this?

Sure, you're rich now; you're a household name. Your face is recognisable. You can court a little controversy and fill the tabloid headlines, easily. Is that what you wanted? Was that your aim, all along?

Ultimately, aren't you infamous? Aren't you known for all the wrong reasons? If there was ever a smidgin of integrity which lurked at the centre of you, isn't that now long lost? You're just an attention seeking publicity whore. You're just a disgrace. You're not an artist. You're not a creator. You're just part of the newspaper-selling, avertising-sellling, merchandise-selling, capitalist machine. You couldn't be more distant from your original "I like writing" origins, even if you tried your hardest.

How did it end up like this?