I just had a great idea. I should think about it for a while and construct a list of the 100 greatest people I can think of. Then I should write each of them a person-to-person letter, not an email, but snail mail, telling that person why I esteem them so highly, how they have impacted the way I live my life or do my work, what I think they are to the world, etc.. Hey, I write a pretty good letter. Then I'll either scan or type them up and post them on this here website o' mine, maybe I'll tweet about it. Maybe I can then turn all these letters I've written into some kind of live theater piece of some kind and it'll be something to talk about amongst other playwrights as a, 'Hey, here's this other thing I'm doing." And it'll mean something to a few of the recipients, perhaps some will write me back, and perhaps they'll let me post excerpts to my website.

The one thing I didn't rush to start doing with this actually quite pedestrian idea is sit down and start writing letters to people. Farthest thing from my mind.

As I've grown older and slightly more mature, I've learned to spend no more than fifteen minutes on my next greatest idea (We're going to have to look past the 324 remaining movies from Roger Ebert's Great Movies List I was going to watch and, of course, create a website about). Our world certainly doesn't lack people with great ideas they either don't have the discipline and focus to manifest, or in its worse manifestation, by merely having an idea expect some other lackey to go ahead an execute, leaving all of these genius idea people free to have more and more genius ideas, and not be burdened by the drudgery of actual craft. No playwright can possibly be immune to the newly-made bar friend who has the idea about which you should immediately file your current work in subservience to, finally, *the* idea that will unlock your artistry and thrill the world at large, 98% of which are the bar friend's friends, relatives, and the girl from high school who turned him down for prom.

Oddly enough, I'm airtight with my finances--always have been. I come from a long line of CPAs. Where others seem to have mounted higher and higher piles of debt, it's always seemed rather obvious to me you don't deserve nor should you have something unless, through legal and ethical means, you have acquired the surplus funds to exchange for that thing after which you lust (If I could in any way justify that $1500 Paul Smith suit made entirely of purple paisley tie weave, look out). I'm naturally debt averse--an excellent trait for a playwright with expectations of a family to raise. Debt is a burden; an obligation, and it can kneecap you in short order.

All these great ideas, grand pronouncements of accomplishments you haven't invoked, and fantasy deliverances of Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speeches incur more and more artistic debt--a mountain who crest will build ever larger over you, ever more impossible to overcome. You haven't earned all the trimmings of an idea until you've put forth the work and craft to distinguish yourself as one of the few doers amongst a barrel of self-proclaimed visionaries. This can actually be quite freeing, for now you know what you must do to see yourself as who you think you are. You shut your cake hole and work.

Thus, oh top 100 great person as determined by me and my never-before-seen perspective on the world, please understand you will not be receiving a impassioned, honorific from me any time soon. It's not that I don’t hold you in esteem or wish to have you recognized for your contribution to our little world; I think I'll best show you my respect and appreciation by sweating and grunting as you undoubtedly have.

Your Stranger-in-Arms,

Jeremy Wine*

*not a licensed financial advisor

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