OK– today sucked.
I had put in an application for a fellowship to get some funding to write a book on Henry Miller. Those things can be quite competitive, I know, and as an independent scholar I have no host institution to back me up, but my first book was a biography of American novelist and journalist Hamilton Basso (1904-1964), which came out with LSUP in 1999. I had visions of being able to take a sabbatical of at least a year, to get started on this project, and to get back to one of my early professional loves: American Lit.
But today I was officially rejected and yes, I know that the road to success is paved with rejection, and even more so in the literary world, but it threw me right back onto myself and my disillusionment over my current career. Or I should say my current jobs. Or current clients.
Thing is: we may think there’s always time to spare for our so-called dream projects and journeys but we really have less time than we think we have, so I urge you to live now, and as much I as I would like to urge myself to do the same, I’m putting off the Henry Miller book.
Call me a wimp.
It’s a little bit like people who don’t go traveling until they retire. In this country, people have to retire later and later out of financial necessity but that also means that they may have more health problems once they’re ready to travel. So… they choose that safe way of traveling: cruises– every day a new city, no packing and unpacking and all the food you can eat. And bring your tux.
Who wants that?
I certainly know that I can’t write books anymore when I’m half-demented, even though I’ll have buckets of time then.
The fellowship committee probably said: Who needs another book on Henry Miller, but from the angle where I’m sitting now, I feel like saying: Who cares what I say to that Nextdoor member about Guidelines and being civil on the internet? Who cares about me translating American websites into Dutch? Which brings me to the underlying question: How can we contribute best to making a better and more interesting world in way that is aligned with our talents– and in a way that’s fulfilling for all involved? Think again. Utopia anyone?
I’m fucking whining like our Whiner in Chief, so I’m going to yank this blog.
So I had a bad day. Big deal.
It’s still worse for the guy who got swallowed by that python.