I forget if it was Tennessee Williams

or F. Scott Fitzgerald

who was crying in the cab

(or was it a limo?)

after their first big success,

feeling they’d never surpass it.


I think about

my fear of success

and my fear

of being seen

and how they have stopped me

from taking myself seriously

as a writer,

from ever trying to publish

or even finish anything


Because then someone might actually

read it.

Not someone.


And God knows

how important

the opinions

of everyone

I’ve ever known



old classmates

or people I knew from church

who haven’t been in my life

for years.


I put so much pressure

on my writing

to save me,

placing all of my self esteem

in some future success,

some novel

or play

or screenplay

that will

make me famous

and rich


to quit the family business

and therefore



It’s cruel

what I put myself through.

The older I get,

the less time I have,

the more behind I feel,

the bigger a hit

my first published work has to be,

literally life-changing.


Which is worse:

a success too early in life

or too late?