Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Huh. I didn't win the Pulitzer

As I dropped Little Guy off at someone's apartment on Sunday afternoon, a little girl passed in the hallway. The person I was chatting with introduced her by saying, "Her mom just won a Pulitzer Prize!" After I wondered (privately) about the weirdness of introducing someone solely in relation to her parent's accomplishments, I thought wistfully, I'm never going to win a Pulitzer Prize.

Then: Duh. I'm not a journalist or biographer or historian or novelist.

Now honestly, never in my life have I aspired to win anything, so this reaction took me by surprise. I mean, I even ghostwrite things -- I'm not a limelight junkie. I don't mind working in the wings, doing the stuff most people don't realize needs to be done. I genuinely don't care if my name's omitted from a program or if I don't get a shout-out at an event I've helped to organize. That's not because I'm shy or even particularly modest. It's because my need for accolades is extremely low. Or at least it is on days when my hormone levels are normal.

So as I walked home in the rain I pondered my reaction to this Pulitzer Prize thing. What was it that made me wistful? I poked and prodded at my brain and was clueless until I reached into my purse to see if I had cash to buy milk. And then I understood: winning a Pulitzer pretty much guarantees work. Unless your writing ability falls off a cliff, you can get published. It means less struggle.

Ahhh. Less struggle would be nice.

But I can live without winning the Pulitzer. A lot of people do.


  1. I'm not entirely sure why, but this post brought to mind one of my favorite Judith Viorst poems, "Facing the Facts", maybe because of the prize winning theme [and today's my birthday so I'm facing a few facts myself :)] Anyway, enjoy!

  2. That's such a New York story! But yes, I get your point and agree.