In Sopranos (Second Season), Christopher makes some headway with getting his screenplay into the hands of writer/director/actor John Favreau. One thing leads to another and he starts showing up late at some of Tony’s events. In the episode I saw last night, Tony challenges Christopher’s loyalty. He asks him to take ten minutes to think about what he wants from his life and gives him two options. 2) To go after whatever is calling him and never come back. Or, he can stay and dedicate himself to Tony.
It reminded me of a recent conversation I had with my grandfather. Much smaller scale, of course. We were not talking about writing, but he cautioned me that everything I say and do reflects upon him and the family. I chalked it up as Chinese Old School, but not before a flash of “Oh shit, I hope he doesn’t read my next story” rose up inside me. Then I did some mental gymnastics to recall an assortment of things I’ve done over the years that kinda make preserving our good name a little late.
If writers worried about what people thought when they exposed themselves and those close to them, non-fiction writing would be considerably flat.
Each writer has to figure out for him or herself how much to reveal. But it’s interesting to think about the many challenges a writer faces. Besides dedicating yourself to practice, handling rejection, improving technique, working with tough editors, managing the business end, facing the rollercoaster of success—and of course, whether or not your “boss” is going to have your balls on a lunch plate next week.