Caroline Kennedy, author of books that did well enough, still clings, at least in her public statements, to an Uncle figure. In her case it's her Uncle Ted.
Award-winner Elie Wiesel, the influential humanist writer, depended on an uncle too. It was Bernard "Uncle Bernie" Madoff. Wiesel lost both his family nest egg and that of his charity.
Then there are the too many booze-bouncer-backs who have carved an uncle figure out of Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson. They journey to his home in Vermont as if they are Christian pilgrims to Bethlehem.
This is unnecessary co-dependence. None of us should be that fragile or needy. Those who are should get therapy and get over it. The cognitive approach works Download Geezerguts. And it does the trick within five months, max.
It is also an obstacle to our ability to break into new styles, new themes, new voices. And all that is essential in a digital era.
How to surmount the Uncle trap? Look at these creatures who we allowed to keep us hostage for the flawed, agenda-oriented human beings that they are. Uncle Ted certainly made more than his fair share of poor, morally suspect decisions. Uncle Bernie seethed with a class resentment he should have gotten over as his success increased. Uncle Bill was entirely too visible, influential, and hands-on in the 12-step movement.
Let's open ourselves to making our own lousy choices, nurse our own grudges, and exploit our own missions. We're human. And it's exactly that humanity, when we let it play out in all its myopia, which creates great copy.