So today Forbes' announced their Wealthiest Authors of 2012 list and of course, I immediately went to see who topped the list. And then a part of me felt really squeevy and weird about my fascination because why is this my business? Why am I allowed into the personal tax affairs of authors? Politicians...yeah, I see that because they technically work for us and if my tax dollars are paying your salary, then I want to know what you're making. But authors? Celebrities? People in the private sector?
Are they required to report their earnings to Forbes to see if they made the list? Can't they be allowed to fall asleep on their wallets and not have anyone all up in their business?
Then, of course, this makes me start thinking about the information available about all of us on the Internet. The fact that you all could Google my name and know a lot of stuff about me. And while I've always been really honest and pretty full-disclosure about my life, it still makes me very nervous. Not for myself, but for my kids.
I've been thinking a lot about the responsibility and burden of celebrity. I have watched my best friend be very much in the public eye and have to wind her way around that. I have watched dear friends lose themselves in the responsibility they felt to their fans. It's all really difficult and confusing.
Because we're not perfect. We screw up and apparently, the more well-known we are, the harder we will fall. Is it bad that I don't wish this kind of vulnerability on anyone? Is it bad that I sort of hope that I never reach beyond the status of c-level celebrity with my writing? Because now that this Forbes' list is out, aren't you all just waiting for people to start criticizing these authors for their crappy writing or their disingenuous lives?
This weekend at the writer's conference, one of the panelists was talking about John Green. John Green who has always been known for his philanthropy and integrity. Who has built a foundation on nerd-loving and promoting world awesome. The panelist said, "Remember, we can't all be John Green." Which made me wonder, is there ever a time when John Green won't be able to be John Green?