If I Could Trade Places With Anybody…
*I got today’s topic from Creativity Portal because getting out of my chair to get the journal jar and pull out one of the slips seemed like too much work*
…it would be Douglas Coupland.
Most of you don’t know who he is, or if you do, you really only know him as the guy who wrote the landmark novel Generation X. Yes. He’s the one who “invented” that term that labels my generation. The media got that novel’s title about a group of 20-somethings who bounce from McJob to McJob…later movies like “Reality Bites” along that same theme came about and enhanced the careers of Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Janeane Garafalo and Ben Stiller.
Anyway, the reasons that I’d swap places with him would be that he’s a full-time writer. He gets paid to simply sit around and type. I’m not much for fiction, which is his forte, but I think that it would be pretty nice to build your career around imagination. While I’m sure his occupation has very unique demands (I mean, what if creativity didn’t hit you that day?) and requires specific disciplines, I think it’d be cool to have a career in the arts.
He also has critical acclaim and fame. He get invited to universities to give lectures on his various works and when he releases a new book he gets to travel internationally to promote it–book tours and talk shows and things like that. It’s always nice to be respected for being good at what you do. But he also has the good kind of fame…the kind that can get you into the really great restaurant or tickets to the best shows but you can still go to those things and have nobody recognize you. Now, he gets to use his position to try to do new things, so he wrote a screenplay, which recently premiered at Austin’s SXSW film festival.
He also has the best kind of wealth, too, I’d imagine. The kind that keeps you from having to worry about money but also the kind that keeps you working hard to get better at what you do so the book advances can keep rolling in. I’m a firm believer that deadlines and pressure spur creativity…but not overbearing deadlines or pressure. The “starving artist” thing has a nice appeal when you’re in your 20’s, but I’d think being a “full, but not gluttonous” artist would be highly enjoyable and help you “keep it real.” (sorry, I’ll try not to use rap phrases in the future)
He gets to live in a loft apartment in the Pacific Northwest (specifically, Vancouver). Well, at least he did at one point. Now he lives in a house designed by an in-demand architect. I’d like to think I’d have stayed in the loft apartment, but maybe if I had the chance to live in a house designed by an in-demand architect, I would.
He gets to be quirky and it’s endearing to people. They almost expect it, and if he does something (like a promotion for Blackberry stuff, or claims that the old khaki-a-go-go commercial for the gap was the best commercial ever made–and puts it on his website) it immediately has a “cool factor” to it where others might get criticized for the very same thing.
So, that’s who I’d trade places with. Who would you, and why?