Question 5.

Zed asked:
What do you see yourself doing in 10 years time?

…and, tellingly, I delayed answering for over a week. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

Originally, I was going to cop out of this with a joke answer.

suelawleyMy castaway this week is a writer, broadcaster, actor, comedian, art collector, bon viveur, philanthropist, style icon, and much loved national institution. After the runaway success of his first novel, “Memoirs of a Troubled Diva”, he was famously cast as himself in the Academy Award winning film of the same name – a film which brought him firmly onto the international stage. A string of best-selling books later – not to mention the newpspaper columns, the one-man stage shows and the television series – he still finds time to update his weblog, Troubled Diva, at least once a day. He is – of course! – Mike Troubled-Diva.”

But that would be cheating. It would also be a somewhat laboured extension of a self-parodying comic persona of which I am becoming increasingly weary.

Which leaves me with no option but to attempt an honest answer.

Essentially, I have always shied away from specific long-term aims/dreams/desires. In fact, I find the whole notion slightly oppressive. This is probably because I have never really known what I wanted to do with my life; instead, life just seems to happen around me. Which, despite an astonishing run of good fortune, particularly in the last four years, is far from ideal – and, as I touched upon in an earlier answer, a recurring source of stress. Particularly at present, if truth be told. But that’s not something which I have the slightest desire to discuss here. Let’s just say that I’m actively working on turning a particularly sharp corner.

So the best that I can do is offer an answer in vague, general terms. In ten years time, I see myself as having successfully built on the groundwork that I started laying down in my early forties, following the extended pleasure-spree that characterised most of my thirties. I definitely see myself writing, hopefully with some measure of financial reward for doing so. I also see myself deriving a noticeably larger proportion of my identity, and sense of self-worth, from what I do, rather than from what I enjoy.

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