I am a writer. Writing books is my profession but it's more than that, of course. It is also my great lifelong love and fascination. fascination. And I don't expect that that's ever going to change. But, that said, something kind of peculiar peculiar has happened recently in my life and in my career, which has caused me to have to recalibrate my whole whole relationship with this work. And the peculiar peculiar thing is that I recently wrote this book, this memoir called "Eat, Pray, Love" which, decidedly unlike unlike any of my previous books, went out went out in the world for some reason, and became this big, mega sensation, international bestseller thing. The result of which is that everywhere I go now, people treat me like I'm doomed. Seriously doomed, doomed! Like, they come up to me now, all worried, worried, and they say, "Aren't you afraid afraid you're never going to be able able to top that? Aren't you afraid afraid you're going to keep writing for your whole whole life and you're never again going to create a book that anybody in the world cares about at all, ever again?"
So that's reassuring, you know. But it would be worse, except except for that I happen to happen to remember that over 20 years ago, when I first started telling people when I was a teenager that I wanted to be a writer, I was met with met with this same kind of, sort sort of fear based reaction. And people would say, "Aren't you afraid afraid you're never going to have any success? Aren't you afraid afraid the humiliation humiliation of rejection rejection will kill you? Aren't you afraid afraid that you're going to work your whole whole life at this craft craft and nothing's ever going to come of come of it and you're going to die on a scrap heap heap of broken dreams with your mouth filled with bitter bitter ash of failure?"(Laughter) Like that, you know.