Today I offer a bit of free advice for all of the people riding the crest of the "blog for success" Web 2.0 craze (or are we at 3.0 by now?): Writing to make money and win acclaim is a fool's game.
Sure, folks like J.K. Rowling lead a pretty nice life with the houses, and the travel, and the book tours, and the fawning fans. But as a dogmatically raised Catholic, I have to ask: Where's all the sacrifice and spiritual suffering?
Plus, as any devoted reader of King Lear would know, we're all Fate's dupes and payback is a bitch. The higher the arc upward, the heavier Dame Fortune's wheel will fall on the turn around.
There is of course the shining example of Edgar Allan Poe, who suffered for his art and died madly roaming the back-ways of Baltimore. The recognition came postmortem, but that's a bit too grimy of an existence. And the streets aren't as soft a place to lay your head these days, what with all the paving.
No, the real trick is to strive for success in mind only. A writer's greatest gift is the imagination, so what better place to savor the fruits of our fictive labors than solely within the boundless confines of our make-believe engines.
Write, write, write as you must, but cast your words out to the wind careless of whose ears, if any, they trickle into. If the worlds you create with penned lines or keystrokes are populated by imaginary characters, won't they appeal best to pretend audiences?
Conjure the smiles on their faces as they peruse your poetry and prose. Summon up fantastic sums making their way wirelessly into your bank account. Sit back in your tattered chair and feel it transform into a throne well placed in a palatial estate, no longer the cramped apartment of a wannabe writer. Success in the surreal world is never-ending.