Monetary Publishing

He was a professional writer. Bill Lighter had a number of successful novels under his belt, if you consider making the New York Times bestseller list six times a success.

Bill didn’t.

He was a man with stories to tell but instead he was spinning stories to sell. Bill liked money and he needed money. But he had other needs, unfulfilled needs.

He hated his books. They were well-plotted, filled with suspense and romance and sex and violence. They were contrived, trivial and award-winning. He was a champion of monetary publishing.

What Bill longed to do was to quit. He wanted to stop writing that brilliantly polished clever crap. But his publisher and his ex-wife and his kids wanted money so Bill needed money and so he soldiered on.

His dream was, well, denigrated as “vanity publishing.” He wanted to write what he wanted—no, needed—to write. As far as he was concerned, monetary publishing, commercial writing, that should be considered “vanity publishing.” There’s no vanity in writing from the heart, putting out stories that flow through you, stories that are desperate to escape into the world.

Bill closed his eyes and rubbed his temples. His publisher was nagging, but he just couldn’t bear to write another word. He stood up, put a few things in a bag. He grabbed his wallet and passport and called a cab.

He headed for the airport.

Some hours later, he phoned his lawyer from a South American beach.

“Give them whatever they want from what I still have. I really don’t care. Just keep them away from me. And don’t ever tell them where I am.” he said.

Then, Bill stirred his drink with a tiny umbrella, pulled out a yellow legal pad and a cheap ballpoint pen and started to actually write, at last.