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.