Delusions of Grandeur · 2 March 2013

I suppose we all have them, but I will be the first to admit I have delusions of grandeur. My friend, Tim, told me that I ought to have visions of grandeur because delusions have such a negative connotation. Another friend, Mike, would tell me that I have illusions of grandeur. When it comes to my writing, all three of us are correct. I have visions, illusions, and delusions of grandeur.

If you have been reading my Musings for very long, you have probably figured out that Tim is the eternal optimist. He sees the glass as half full. He sees the talent in his students and tries to draw it out of them and out of all the people he is around. As a matter of fact, he scolded me when I told him I have delusions of grandeur, because Tim even sees me as a writer keeping my day job until the money starts rolling in. I appreciate his optimism and his thought that I ought to have visions of grandeur. Not because I totally agree that delusions have a bad connotation, but because I too dream big. I subscribe to the philosophy of Norman Vincent Peale and The Power of Positive Thinking. At least the notion that we must envision our future as we desire it to be long before it ever comes to fruition. Which means that unlike Tim’s version, my visions of grandeur entail me keeping my day job as long as I still love it, whether I need the money or not.

While I have visions of my future as a writer, I also have illusions. My friend, Mike, has helped me keep those illusions in full view. He was one of my earliest real (as opposed to imaginary) readers. He keeps me humble, and like Tim, challenges me to write better. He posts to my Facebook fan page to offer his positive (or at least funny) comments. And at lunch he is the one who tells me I ought to write about this or that conversation or incident. Usually one that involves me bearing the brunt of some insult (or truthful comment) about my all too flawed character. Mike is the one who tries to tell me (even if it is merely an illusion) that I do have real readers out there. And that they might even outnumber the three imaginary ones. He keeps my illusions of grandeur in full view.

As positive as visions are and as funny as illusions might be, delusions of grandeur actually fit me. I like to think that each day I get closer to a syndicated column going nationwide. I almost believe literary agents are trying to find my phone number to offer their services. I even have it in my mind that singers, movie producers, and others want to put my songs, scripts, and other writings into money making ventures. As far as my writing is concerned, I go beyond positive thinking visions. I even go beyond illusions. I really do have delusions of grandeur. After all, in reality I am just a hack with a website. True, I do (or at least did) have a tenuous hold on a not-so-regular column in a small town newspaper. But who knows how long it will last? My thoughts of writing success are truly out of proportion to my abilities and my audience. I really do have delusions of grandeur.

Whether or not the term “delusions of grandeur” really is negative or not, I have them. I also have a healthy dose of visions of grandeur to keep me going toward my goals. And I have plenty of illusions of grandeur to help me think I have at least a few more readers than I probably do. Life is good and as long as I have my visions, illusions, and delusions of grandeur, I can keep reaching for the stars. Hopefully, getting closer to them.

I might never be as good of a writer as I think I am, but nobody can pop my bubble. My glass is much more than half filled. Even if I am just having delusions of grandeur.

© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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