One of the bigger fears expressed by emerging writers is that a huge wave of fans will consume their books, claim they recognize themselves howl at the moon and send a nasty tweet. I counsel them to consider such a result a very good problem to have.
I howl alone. I know this because of the handy graph on the dashboard of my blog counts the visits. And I’d like to thank both of you for reading.
Readership used to be such a wonderful mystery. I published an article in the newspaper and it was distributed to so many subscribers and another unknown number purchases from the news stand, I never knew how many actual readers I really had. So I could pretend the number was few, or many. Sometimes a reader would stop me in the Safeway produce section and comment on my column. I recommend a daily dose of compliments next to the celery.
That vague, un-calculated sense of success led to a five book mystery series, a poetry chap book, anthology collections, a MA thesis, a collection of those newspaper columns and a wonderful summer promoting a Chicken Soup book.
Based on vague unconfirmed feedback I worked diligent at my craft because I did not know any better. The benefit was to gather up extensive job experience that helps make me a more effective writing coach, which is how I make my living.
The books have not brought me fame, wealth or readers. But the work has taught me that no matter how many are consuming the finish product, I still like making it, my books are still worth completing.
I am blessed that I love what I do. I know that the joy of doing is not counted as Success. We don’t count anything as successful unless we can count it. But I think differently.
This began as as rant about how awful it is to be an obscure, unknown writer and ended up an paean to the joys of working, of spending time doing what I want.
I love working on this blog. I love the discipline, the promise I make to myself that I will follow through, twice a week and post something. It’s good to keep the promises you make to yourself.
But the idea that even one person reads this work is heartening. So I thank you, thank you both for dropping in.
I hope you continue, even when we love our work; writing can be lonely.