But now I've been asked to write a children's book by a start-up on-line company. They need a story that's a tie-in for merchandise they'll be selling, so they have definite plot parameters along with a deadline. The catch is that they've offered me a fairly sweet financial deal.
Suddenly, I've tumbled from the lofty peaks of art to the desert reality of money -- the two sides of my full-time vocation. What to do? Here's the strange self-talk running through my brain:
- You're not in your twenties, girlfriend; when it comes to time left for storytelling the hourglass is upside down.
- If you pass on opportunities like this to free up time for "real art," do you even have what it takes to create a so-called "great story?" And what about your literary reputation?
- Chill out, snob, who's to say a merchandise-related story can't be defined as "great?" Heck, it could give joy to kids who read it -- why is that a lesser achievement than a starred review in the Horn Book?
- It's only 6000 words or so; you could probably write it in a couple of months starting in the fall after revising Bamboo People this summer.
- But a story, any story, takes creative energy. Is that a renewable resource?