I subscribe to two different literary agents’ blogs because I think they’re great. One is Steve Laube and the other is Chip MacGregor. As a writer or an aspiring writer and if you’re not currently reading their blogs, I suggest you do.
Last week Chip MacGregor had a blog titled, “Why Do We Write?” It was in response to a question someone sent in. His answer, and I’m quoting from his blog: “Okay, this may surprise you, but I believe most new writers basically want to get published so that they’ll be famous. They want that thrill of holding up a book with their name emblazoned on the cover, show it to their friends, leave it on their coffee table, maybe peruse a copy at the bookstore and casually mention to someone in the aisle, “You know, I wrote this.” I think most new writers are seeking fame and encouragement, that they believe validity and meaning will arrive out of publication. They see fame as offering a measurable amount of worth and competence.”
Hm, I thought, as I scratched my head and then chuckled. That about hits it precisely on the head. I wanted to write! I needed and yearned to write. I imagined instant fame and accolades. I mean, after all, God was laying it on my heart, He was calling me to write. I was as sure of that as I’d ever been about anything. If the Creator of the universe had His hand in it, of course I would be famous.
When that didn’t happen, I was disappointed, discouraged, and doubted that I’d ever heard from God. But I had written a book. I was convinced it was a pretty good book. So I self-published. Nothing wrong with that, but my writing craft was far from perfected. But I did it! My book is out there, with all the writing flaws that make editors cringe. But I still believe my story is a good story. I happen to love it.
Let’s all admit it, we do want to be famous to some degree or other, if only it’s to be recognized by our family and friends as having talent. I have hopefully reached the place where I just want to touch people with my writing, to move them to tears or laughter. I had to give it all to God, to release it to Him. All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe it all to Him anyway.