That's the question Will Jones, the protagonist of My Pal Splendid Man, is asking in "Literary Lad," the episode I uploaded yesterday. To answer the question, Splendid Man takes him a thousand years into the future, where he meets that team of heroic teenagers known as the Array of Splendid Striplings and...other stuff happens. It's all pretty absurd, but right at this moment I'm seeing something more than the absurd in it. No, let me say that differently: absurd, yes, but also very true, and class to my heart. Because, you know, I don't worry about whether my work will be remembered in a millennium, but I do think way too much about outcomes that are beyond my control. I find it incredibly hard to give myself to a project unless I can convince myself that it will sell well, bring great reviews, open new doors, something. The simple thought that "This feels like the right thing to do and I have reasonable hopes of a reward" is rarely enough to motivate me to action. And yet, that's the only true thing I can think, the only thing I can be sure of and that doesn't require fantasy and self-deception. It seems like such a simple place from which to start a book: I want to, it seems like a good idea, I'm being paid for it, so do it and find out later what the pay-off is. But I invest so much of myself in the future instead of the present that that's really hard for me.
Anyway, I didn't really expect to get such a slap in the face (or poke in the ribs?) from one of my own humor stories, but it's a good one. I think the next time I find myself wondering why I'm writing this book I should remember what a moron Will Jones is, and then remember that he's me.