What was the real meaning of my quest to understand Jimmy Connors?
The night at the 1990 U.S. Open when Jimmy Connors requested I write a proposal to become his ghostwriter, I asked him what autobiographies he liked. He confessed he had not finished a book in 20 years. If Connors trusted me enough to reveal such long term disengagement with the world of thought, surely we could make a great team.
That proposal was the tunnel I was digging in hopes of escaping my career in public relations. Arriving at my office at 7:30 in the morning and squeezing in time at lunch and through the day, I wrote a 60-page document and overnighted it to his house. He told me he was glad to receive it.
Often when my phone rang, I imagined it was Connors telling me the proposal was great and that a publisher was set to give me $200,000 to start on his autobiography. But there was no actual response and then weeks turned into months.
My boss, having read the World Tennis story on Connors I'd written several months earlier, wondered why it sounded so differently from what I wrote for clients. I told her it was a matter of angles, omitting to say how little I cared about our various clients' products and services.