Mailvox: I care, but not that much

William is, he tells us, in a quandary:

I am in a quandry – I read both you and Michelle and when I read your original post it had the tone of sour grapes to me wrapped in a “this doesn’t make sense to me” wrapper. Then I read your latest with its “That’s obviously not the case, as if I had the desire to be a media whore and maximize my exposure by running back and forth between CNN and Fox” where sour grapes in disguise are so obvious despite all your protestations–not to mention a few cheap shots under the guise of satirical irony.

I have read you for some time and was happy to see your blog (though your website is unreadable – literally, the text is too small and not adjustable) but I must say I was disappointed by the original post on this topic and the follow-up only reinforces my concerns. I have just come to expect more from you. Maybe if I didn’t like Michelle I wouldn’t have reacted this way, but that says more about me than you…

William, as hard as it may be to believe, there are actually some people who have lives outside of Media World and no desire for a career in it. I happen to be one f them. I have no media career, this is something I do… “for fun” is the short answer.

It might help you to understand that I once started a band that had record and publishing contracts with TVT Records, singles hitting the charts, music in soundtracks of movies like Mortal Kombat, was beating out Prince for local music awards, and we refused to play live or go on tour. It was an absolute must if we wanted to make it big – it took TVT three years of touring NIN to break Trent – but we absolutely refused. Were we stupid? No, because that wasn’t what we wanted. The other founder is happily married, doing exactly what he wants at Microsoft, and I’m doing… other things. I can’t even imagine going the other route now.

I will be the first to admit that the success of others occasionally boggles my mind. After turning down two of my proposals – which they’d requested – a publisher published what turned out to be a successful book based on the shocking premise that professors are left-liberal. (Insert advertisement for my forthcoming work “Oxygen” here.) Even though I understand that people read for confirmation, not information, I still found this remarkable. But I’m not envious of this success, because I don’t want to do what they do. Do you honestly think I can’t write an article expressing outrage about airline security?

Of course I can! But why should I, when twenty other columnists inevitably will? I am quite aware that I’m limiting my audience by writing about Tolstoy instead of terror, and Elliott Waves instead of Wilson. I can run neck and neck with Queen Ann for top WND readership anytime I choose; all I have to do is lambast Kerry and the Clintons every week, taking one week off every month to take the obligatory shot at the liberal coverage of the issue du jour. How entertaining – I think I’d rather write bad fiction imitating Mercedes Lackey instead.

I have nothing at all against Michelle Malkin. She’s cute. She writes well. But she clearly wants a media career whereas I don’t. Seriously. Now, I’m glad that you, William, and a few others happen to enjoy my columns and whatnot. But I was writing before anyone was reading my stuff, and even now, with five novels and almost three years of columns under my belt, a good part of what I write goes unread. This isn’t my career, in fact, this isn’t even my primary hobby. If I ever get tired of it, I’ll walk away as cheerfully as I walked away from the record company.

Life is too precious to worry about a career. No one ever lay on their deathbed and said: “thank God I was on CNN!”