She made a very good observation when she said the media called him a hermit and recluse, yet the life he lived was only selectively hermit-like. I'm sure Bonnie's correct in that his part-time withdrawal from public life may have been partly "because he understood his capacity to be a dangerous man ..." But I'm taking a guess when I say I think he was probably also a media snob. He wanted his fame and fortune, but on his terms.
Like so many other famous people we could name.
Well, in all fairness, who of us doesn't? Who of us writers who dream of best-sellers, book tours and movie deals---and struggle with envy for those few who do achieve those things---don't want fame on our own terms? But is that realistic? Is it fair? We aggressively woo fans, hoping they'll buy our books and support our writing habit ... so long as they keep their adoration at arm's length? There's something very one-sided about that to me. Yes, I understand the need for privacy and safety and boundaries, but in my opinion, those who step from private life to public life have an obligation to the ones who help them achieve their dreams.
I know, easy for me to say since I'll never achieve the kind of fame we're taking about. I just don't happen to be a fan of elitism, or snobbery on any level.
That said, I'd like to address the other part of Bonnie's post, the 10,000 hours part. If the premise is true, that would be 416 days of round-the-clock, non-stop writing to master the skill. Taking my average weekly writing time and multiplying that to the 10,000 hours necessary to master a skill, I figure it took me 13-15 years of writing to reach that milestone. Like Bonnie, the thought of considering myself a master is laughable. But trust me when I say I've come a long, long way in 28 years, which is how long I've been diligently at this writing life.
And I have to believe if, after all those years of striving, I'd managed to gain even a tiny fraction of the fame of a J.D. Salinger, I think I'd show more appreciation. At least I hope I would.
My musings aside, I have two questions for you:
- Do you fear the fame you may be courting?
- How long has it taken you to reach the 10,000 hour club --- or where are you on your journey?