One of my favorite movies of all time is the dark police drama L.A. Confidential, based on a novel by James Ellroy. Brilliant storytelling, an inspired cast and a plot that managed to be straightforward and twisty simultaneously. I could not predict a single minute of the movie, especially the ending -- a great ending, btw; quite possibly the best movie ending of all time.
I won't reveal any spoilers (if you haven't seen it, and you aren't squeamish, do get a copy of it, it's wonderful) but at one point during the movie, promotion-loving Det. Lt. Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) tells fame-loving Det. Sgt. Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) the story of his father's senseless murder, the name Exley gave the killer (who was never caught), and how that compelled him to become a cop. Although I hated Exley's character, who was an uptight opportunist for most of the movie, that confession redeemed him for me. Exley then asks Vincennes why he became a cop, and Vincennes smiles and says that he can't remember.
I won't compare the publishing industry to the bleak world of L.A. Confidential. Being a writer is not being a cop. Publishers are not riddled with corruption. Some nice writers do finish first, and not everyone in the business is a Vincennes or an Exley. But losing track over the years of the reasons why you take on a difficult job, and keep working at it, now that is something that can happen to any of us (which is why I thought of the movie when I was writing this.)
The point of all this: Whatever happens to you before, during or after publication, whatever is said and done, whatever good or harm comes your way, don't forget why you're a writer.
I'm double-blogging today, and a little later on I'll have a link* to my other, guest post elsewhere, but in the meantime: any questions for me this week?
*My guest post over at RTB is up: Don't Dump That Weblog!