I haven’t blogged for about a week. In part this is because I have been busy focusing on my day job. But the real reason is that I’ve been feeling discouraged. So far, I have had one Kindle sale this month. Yes, I know it’s taboo for me to disclose such a shameful fact. But if you’ve read Later With Myself, you know that I am not one to shy away from forbidden topics.


At my 50th birthday party last weekend, friends all told me what an incredible achievement it is to have published two books, sold as many copies as I have, and put myself “out there” in such an authentic way. My ego may have basked in that praise, but my attitude adjustment was short-lived. I tend to see things far more objectively: Until my books have sold 5,000 copies each, I will not consider myself a successful writer. Certainly, no publisher or agent will.

I just finished reading Still Alice by Lisa Genova, and a particular line keeps poking at me—the speaker at a commencement ceremony admonishing the graduates to “be creative, be useful, be practical, be generous, and finish big.” That got me questioning whether these goals aren't mutually exclusive, especially in relation to my dueling careers as lawyer vs. writer. How long should I keep plugging myself as an author when the Universe keeps telling me I am more useful as a lawyer? Ingenuity only seems to be valued when used to invent the latest i-gadget that makes lots and lots of money. And yet, unless someone channels their creativity into inventing a cure for cancer or Alzheimer’s, is it ever useful or practical? If nothing else, I’d like to think that sharing my stories with the world is inherently generous—at times Later With Myself has left me feeling utterly raw and exposed, as though I have given away a precious part of my soul. So, how long do I hawk it before giving up? Do I keep spinning my wheels until I’ve “finished big,” or only until I’ve exhausted myself trying?

Albert Einstein supposedly defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. That may be true, but once we stop, we’ve abandoned all hope, conceded the game, and declared ourselves done. Still, I’d like to know how many more miles I’ve got left ‘til the finish line.