… who leaves you a voice mail like this:
Hey Murr, thanks for not answering. This is a message call, not a conversation call. Hey listen. You have an opportunity to be great. To be great. Not to succeed, not to be successful. To be great. This moment in time—honestly, if you stopped working, if you just did what these other crazy artists did. I know it's not your make-up, it's not your DNA. It's not mine either. But I don't have the ability to be great. I'm not an artist. You're talented, your mom and dad were both talented artists. My mom was also. They never took the chance. They never took the risk. They never jumped off the cliff. Because they always had to toe the line, toe the line, toe the line, toe the line. You've toed it, you have enough. … I mean honestly, stop working, and write this fucking piece. Listen. Don't be afraid of committing to this on a level that is not what—I don't if you are mentally or physically prepared to do. But if you did … I don't know if you can, if you can do it. Or if you're wired that way. But you're standing right there on the precipice of possibly greatness. So my advice to you as the best friend you ever had, and your brother, is to jump off that cliff. Don't worry about money. Don't worry about anything. It will all be ok. It will be OK. And commit all your time and energy. I don't know if you can do it. And that's the scary part….
And you know he's a little drunk, and you know you're not going to stop working to write the book he's talking about, but you know you've got a friend who still believes the press releases you were sending out when you considered yourself the best writer at Kent State University (and you considered that a pretty big deal).
You certainly can't push "delete" on a message like that without at least transcribing it first. So you transcribe it, because you want to have it ready in case a worthy book idea does come along. But you keep it to yourself. At first, you don't even show the message to your wife, because it makes you feel vulnerable.
And then months later, you turn around and publish the message on your blog—without telling your friend, who doesn't read your blog because he doesn't consider a blog worthy of your late-night dormitory dreams—because you want everybody to know that somebody who you admire as much as you ever did, still feels this way about you.