As I sat with my laptop after dinner, wanting to start writing this post, I got distracted by the docudrama playing on the TV.
Titled ‘Becoming Bond’ is a documentary on George Lazenby, who acted as James Bond in the film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The movie was a super hit and, to date, is considered as one of the best if not the best Bond movie ever.
Lazenby, who has never acted in a film before (he was a car salesman and a model before the role), acted superbly and was offered a contract for six Bond movies and a million-dollar signing amount.
Guess what he did?
He said no.
To date, his declining of the James Bond role is laughed at. It is a standing joke and is referred to as ‘doing a Lazenby’ when someone walks out of something lucrative.
But this is not how Lazenby sees it. Even though, to date, he is not sure why he said no to the deal, he doesn’t regret it.
To him being James Bond meant surrendering his own sense of self.
While he admits there are days when he regrets his decision, he has put James Bond behind him. “I got married, I had a couple of kids. I went into real estate; I was very successful there. And I race motorcycles. I always wanted to race motorcycles.”
According to him, it’s very hard for people to understand, but living life on your own terms in your own way is a much better life. It is a much fuller life.
Becoming Bond was never was his end goal. When asked which would he prefer, a stereotype James Bond or a car salesman like he used to be, he said, “A car salesman like I used to be.”
He says, “The best thing to do is to know yourself. Feel yourself. And be yourself. I may not be great, but I am an original.”
He is proud of his life. He was a kid with half a kidney and was expected to live till 12. He is 76 now and has done everything and more than he ever expected to.
“I can’t think of anything I would change,” he said.
When asked what did he hope people remember about his life, he said, “I would like them to know that you could defy what is expected of you.”
You could defy what is expected of you.
That was the line that grabbed me.
That was the message I wanted to get across in this post, and Lazenby gave it to me on a platter.
Like Lazenby, content writing was not my end goal.
I got into it like Lazenby landed the James Bond role. By pure chance.
I was happy writing fiction. I was happy learning to write a novel. I was happy sketching and painting. Making cartoons.
Instead, I was expected to write an article a day. I was told this is how the algorithm works. The more you write, the more you put in front of readers. The bigger publications you write for, the more people see your work.
For a while, I did all that thinking I am doing the right thing by fulfilling what is expected of me.
But, in doing so, I surrendered my sense of self.
I would have continued doing so had I not listened to Lazenby’s last words in the documentary.
I wanted to write this post to announce that I am starting 90 days of Focus on Fiction.
I was feeling guilty disappointing my readers that I will not write a post every day.
That Focusing on Fiction means that I read fiction, write fiction, breathe fiction. It will be a while before my brain starts thinking like a fiction writer.
At the moment, it is so full of non-fiction that all I can’t bring myself to write a story. Any story.
The truth is I have not written any fiction for almost two years now.
So I am going to defy what is expected of me and do what I want to do.
I am going to concentrate on writing fiction.
I will still write on Medium but sporadically.
If I have anything to share, you will find it here, on Authorpreneurs publication.
I am not going away; I am just being true to myself. I also didn’t want to feel guilty on the days when I could not write a post because I am grappling with inventing an interesting character and wondering whether to give her a love interest or turn her into a murderess.
So if you don’t hear from me for a few days, this is what I am doing.
Playing god with fictional beings.