I want to be Julie Powell.
Who wouldn’t want to be Julie Powell? Especially if you have a blog, and know the shortcut keystrokes on WordPress, you ought to want to be Julie Powell.
If I were Julie Powell, I’d have a project. A big idea, a cool angle to control my writing. When I woke up in the morning, there’d be no wondering about what to write for that day’s entry. I’d know. We’re cooking boeuf bourguignon tonight and serving it to a Very Important Person, so I’ll be writing about how I cocked up Julia’s recipe by falling asleep due to exhaustion. Oops.
But I’d know what to write about.
If I were Julie Powell, I’d have some cute actress like Amy Adams to play me in the movie. Of course, my cinematic doppelgänger would get upstaged by Meryl Streep, but that’s okay. Most people who are in movies with Meryl Streep get upstaged by her. But at least people would remember me as the subject of a film with Meryl Streep. I’d probably get to met her, which would be so cool.
If I were Julie Powell, I’d get a multi-book deal from my blogging. I’d have direction in my writing career. And I’d probably have lots of high-powered smart literary people helping me keep my focus as well.
“What should Julie Powell do next?” they’d say. “She’s already written about burning her marriage a little in her first book while cooking, butchering it in her second, then learning butchering. Obviously, the redemption theme has to be next.
Wait for it…
Julie apprentices herself to an Amish woman in Pennsylvania famous for her huckleberry jam, while writing about her efforts to preserve her marriage. Start making calls.”
No. I don’t think I want to be Julie Powell. And I don’t think Julie Powell wants to be Julie Powell, either. She’s done with writing about herself for the moment — at least between hard covers. “Two memoirs before the age of 40 is plenty,” she said in an interview with USA Today.
Of course there’s a part of me that would like to be Julie Powell someday. At least the book deal part, and maybe the film. I can skip the domestic drama.
And maybe that’s the point. I can barely crank out three pieces a week right now, while holding down a full-time job and dealing with the babies. I’m not sure how I would get out any more without causing serious problems on the home front.
Julie Powell’s writing was driven by a need to escape where she was. I love my job, and can’t see myself ever leaving it. My writing helps me be a better teacher. And maybe I’ll pick up a gig or two on the side one of these days. My time is a bit more flexible in the summer.
But right now, I’m a writer without a project.
And that’s the way I like it.