By Kevin Woo
I feel horrible tonight. I knew I would. Every year, about this time, I feel like absolute shit. No, I’m not sick nor did anyone do anything to me. I feel bad because I watched the Academy Awards.
I couldn’t keep from tuning in to watch the Red Carpet pre-game show. The screen was filled with incredibly glamorous people who seemed to glide wherever they went. The women never seemed to catch a heel on the magic carpet, and men never seemed to stumble.
When Ellen DeGeneres opened the show, she acknowledged some of the big stars in attendance including Brad and Angelina, Sandra Bullock, and Bradley Cooper. As the introductions went on I began to feel worse and worse about myself.
I found myself sitting my computer writing a wonky technology paper that I had no interest in. As I looked at the TV I saw people who will remembered forever by those who love great films. I will never been remembered as the writer who spent yet another Sunday night in search of the next great technical paper. Yawn.
So why do I feel horrible? Well, I’m past the midpoint of my life and I’ve yet to make a difference. I’ve written hundreds of magazine articles for publications that are so obscure it’s unlikely that anyone will read them. I’ve tried to get two book projects off the ground and discovered that publishing is a tightly knit community of editors and agents, and if you’re not part of the club good luck in getting published.
How many movies are based on an obscure book that someone came across, passed along to someone who passed it along to someone else, and, finally, someone at a movie studio took a chance on the project.
I don’t want to be a movie star, or a producer, or even a director. I want to write a piece of literature that matters. Maybe it will be made into a movie or maybe it won’t. But what I hope is that someone, somewhere, will pass along a piece of work that I’ve written and say, “You have to read this. It’s a work of genius.”
I won’t lie, I’ve dreamed that a book I’ve written gets made into a movie. I’ve thought about watching the credits as they scroll by and seeing, “Based on the book by Kevin Woo.” I’ve even thought about how I might react.
Maybe one night soon I’ll get to wear a tux, walk the Red Carpet, and a movie based on a book that I wrote will win an Oscar.
All of this seems hopelessly farfetched. But when I doubt myself I try to keep in mind something that Richard Bach wrote, “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”
I’m not a quitter so look for me soon on a Red Carpet near you.