Your Dreams Are a Bad Idea: Lessons From a Failed Author

by Corinne Purtill

Four and a half years ago I quit my job and moved continents so that I could write a book. This book was to be a serious yet eminently readable work of narrative nonfiction. It was going to be the kind of book that earned stellar reviews in respected publications and land me a segment on “The Daily Show” where you could tell that Jon Stewart thought I was funny.

In the years since, many well-meaning people have asked me, “How’s the book?” This once-innocuous question falls upon my ears today like “How’s your chlamydia?” or “What happened to those lewd conduct charges against you?” The short answer is that I did write a book, I couldn’t get it published, and these days I am much more familiar with failure than talk show green rooms.

The rest of today’s column is at Salon.