I read two articles this week that made me think some about this writing biz.
Lee Child is interviewed in The (London) Times. Unlike most author interviews, this one seems to focus on material matters, and I am happy to report that Lee, whom I met at Bouchercon in 2006, seems to be doing okay with his Jack Reacher series. Well, "okay," if two apartments on Manhattan and two near St. Tropez along with such trinkets as a Faberge watch and a Jag allow one to reach the okay benchmark. So success and wealth have prompted to Lee to turn philosophical. He says:
"When you have plenty it is really liberating but you reach a point where you realise, 'Wow. I can have anything I want.' This just prompts the question, 'Well, what is it that you want?' and I have found that actually I don’t want very much."
Easy for him to say.
In an interview in our Times (the New York one, I mean) this week, Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert, known as Professor Happiness, says:
"We know that the best predictor of human happiness is human relationships and the amount of time that people spend with family and friends.
"We know that it’s significantly more important than money and somewhat more important than health. That’s what the data shows. The interesting thing is that people will sacrifice social relationships to get other things that won’t make them as happy — money."
Writing is, of course, a solitary pursuit. Does that mean that we writers all have a tendency for melancholia? We all know how important friends and family are. But maybe the social relationships with fellow scriveners we foster at conferences, writing groups, in drinking establishments, and on Facebook help keep us sane and make us a little happier, too.