Watching Sideways for the first time since it came out made me aware of how my life has come, in a few ways, to resemble that of Paul Giamatti's character Miles: middle-aged writer trying to create something of value; still thinking about a relationship that went sour long ago (not as much as he was though); meeting a new woman and wanting to get something going with her (let's just say I'm still waiting for a sign of interest from her); seeing friends around me get married (though that's been going on for years). I didn't feel uncomfortable watching the movie, but the parallels didn't sit all that well with me either.
Miles tells people his book is about to be published when there's every possibility it won't happen. He feels like the writing he has done throughout his life doesn't amount to much. I don't necessarily think that way; the comics I've written in the past were well received, even if they didn't sell in big numbers, and they set me on a path that led to some important people and places in my life - but I think it's only natural to hope for more.
My novel may or may not be that "more." I tell people I'm writing it to see of I have it in me, which is 100℅ true, but I want it to make lots of money too. I've heard and read much about the struggles that face a prospective writer these days. Jen and Sandi have shared their war stories with me; I have a fair understanding of the odds. I could do like Jacqueline and go the self-published route, but it's not like comics, where you run off a bunch of copies of Kinko's, fold and staple them and you're good to go.
I'm scared. I admit it. I'm scared in a way I never was when I made comics. With them, it was easy to put one book behind me and move on to the next, partly because I was young and stupid and didn't care about the odds against me, which didn't seem as imposing anyway. Plus, it was easy to contextualize what I did as striking a blow against the mountain of corporate superhero comics, in an industry dominated by them, devoured weekly by Fandom Assembled.
With prose books, it's different. I'm certainly not treading any new ground in a market built around a single genre. I have no illusions that what I'm writing will change the world. I'm not making any grand statement about the state of the world, nor is that my intent - but I want somebody to care about it anyway. Someone once said writing a book is like raising a child: you invest all this time and care into its development and then you release it into the world, hoping it'll find its place. I can totally see that.
Getting back to the movie: still great. I remember trying to drink wine when I was in Barcelona, but I never refined a taste for it, even though I kept thinking I ought to somehow. Occasionally, when Vija throws a party, she'll serve wine; I may try some, but I never finish my glass. Not much more I have to say about wine. I'd rather have a beer.