Reality check

I get a lot of email, and spend a lot of my time attending to the details of my business. Viewed from my perspective, at the center of my own storm, This Modern World is simply the most important and influential political commentary of this time or any other.

The key words here being “center of my own storm.” Step outside that storm and it’s a small alternative comic with a modest readership — hardly a household brand.

The thing is, when you do some sort of creative work in public, it’s easy to get caught up in your own little tempest. It’s easy to magnify a little feedback and a little success into seeming like something more than it is, to believe that everyone else spends as much time thinking about your little contribution to the world as you do.

It’s always worth stepping back and keeping things in perspective, lest you end up making a fool of yourself by writing something like this:

A surprising number of people I knew were paying a great deal of attention. Hardly anyone I talked to in Hollywood did not know “something had happened to Roger Simon, the man who created Moses Wine.”

See, it’s that center-of-the-storm thing. The people Roger Simon The Man Who Created Moses Wine is likely to talk to in the course of a given day are by definition a self-selecting group of people who have the vaguest notion who Roger Simon The Man Who Created Moses Wine is. Step a few inches outside of that storm, and people are far more likely to ask, “Who? The man who created what?” and give you a slightly annoyed look as they brush past you.

Just sayin’.

Via (once again) TBogg, who pays attention to R.S.T.M.W.C.M.W. so I don’t have to.

Tangentially related cartoon here.