Dear Anne Lamott,
I’m nuts about your writing and want to be you when I grow up, except for, maybe, the dreadlocks. (I have an odd-shaped head.)
But you hear that all the time, the nuts part. You have fans and students and you’re no stranger to the NY Times Best Seller List.
A few weeks ago, a friend and I fought serious Friday evening traffic in Atlanta to see you speak. We skipped dinner to get there on time. But it was worth it, because we got the last two seats on the balcony. You filled the room, Annie, and you were witty and brave and gritty, and you told the truth, just as you do in your books.
And then a young man stood up to the mike and asked if good writing could still stand on its own, and you shared the bad news about the necessary evils of social media and developing a platform, and you likened the New York publishing world to breaking into Hollywood. My face fell as I pictured myself as a disillusioned waitress in an L.A. diner, a greasy joint right off the freeway, perhaps, and I felt my friend looking at me out of the corner of her eye.
I think she was worried I was going to jump off that balcony.
Maybe I should have, because then someone might’ve captured the whole thing on their iPhone, and the YouTube video would’ve gone viral, and—presto—the aspiring author with the broken legs would have a platform. Publishing houses would come clamoring for my books, and I’d get to be driven around on one of those beeping carts at the airport for my big trip to the Big Apple.
But, as it is, I played it safe and kept my seat, and my writing career pretty much reads like a sad Billy Joel song. And so it goes.
The thing is, I’m still holding out for a 20th Century Fox ending. I built this blog, and yesterday it got four views. But that’s better than the day before, when there was one—and I’m pretty sure that was my mom. Brick by brick, my friend, or shall I say bird by bird?
See you on the best seller list.