Thursday, June 16, 2005

Apple? No thanks ...

Yesterday, an unexpected e-mail arrived.

It was from a former Doculabs co-worker. "I don't know if you remember me," he wrote. We worked together for 11 months. I remembered him.

He left Doculabs to take a job with a company in New York City. There will soon be an opening at his company that involves writing, so he was getting in touch to see if I'd be interested in the position.

I wrote to thank him for thinking of me, and to decline his offer, but not before thinking, "If I were to move to New York, it would have to be for a dream job, not just *a* job."

Which then made me ask myself (because I talk to myself a lot), "What *is* the dream job?"

And don'tcha know? I had no answer.

I've been looking at my life for clues. For instance, I subscribe to far too many magazines, most of which are about shelter or entertainment. I like housey things. I like to decorate, to pick paint colors, to pull rooms together with various finds. I like books and movies and music.

But if life's true career guide is the answer to the question, "What do you do when you don't have to do anything?" the answer continues to be "Sing."

Uh oh.

The other night on the phone, English Teacher Dave called me "a professional writer." Which I am, if you consider that I get paid to write things and those things get published. Still, it feels funny to own that title. "Professional writer" implies, to me anyway, a level of success I haven't yet achieved. Stephen King is a professional writer. Maureen Dowd is a professional writer. Akiva Goldsman is a professional writer. Surely I'm not in their company.

But then I think that there was a time when Stephen King wasn't "Stephen King," when his name was just his name, and not a brand.

There is a sign up on my office wall that reads, "1,000 words a day." Because writers write. And I'll write right here.

I don't need to pay $2,000 a month rent in New York.

And for now, I'll just sing on the side.

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