It’s difficult some days to think about where in this sea of writers and established authors and lifelong readers I actually fit. The only group I consider myself a part of is the first.
I don’t think it’s difficult to get your words printed anymore, but the task of getting noticed by anyone is far more intimidating. But I ask myself why I even care about the latter. This isn’t my full time thing. If it were, I probably wouldn’t be able to feed my kids. I don’t think that because I consider myself a mediocre writer, but rather because the field is so saturated now with writers, both phenomenal and notsomuch that I find it hard to fathom making a living off what I write at the moment. To start, there are plenty of people who are lifelong writers. But is that an excuse to just hang it up and never do this?
I never expected anything grand to happen overnight. It’s all I can do to simply keep looking ahead, keep writing, keep reading and seeing what’s out there, and not concerning myself with any kind of notoriety yet. Or perhaps ever. One of my concerns is falling into a trap where I could actually be noticed, but then I’d be forced to write in a way that isn’t me. I’ve noticed some authors that I read night after night have a couple of outstanding books that feel as if they wrote straight from the heart, with passion and vision; and subsequent books felt forced and not at all in the same caliber as the first. And my guess was because once they became “well known” the publishing companies put pressure on to produce, and that is counter to everything I want to achieve here.
The more I’ve read to my kids, the more I felt that no matter what the result I could do this.
Whether anyone outside of who I know cares or not about what I write is not the reason why I wanted to do this. I wanted to write without compromise. That isn’t to say I’m above criticism— I plan on finding writing groups and getting some critical feedback and training, while simultaneously attempting to retain all of the original fervor that made we want to do this in the first place.
To me it seems the only antidote to this bumpy ride to self-confidence and competence as a writer is to keep going, and stop thinking about this as much as I am right now. The only way achieve that it to have the goals be simple: keep it personal and precious. It may mean you’ll never ever see on anyone’s best seller list, but that was never my intent. I only write in hopes that somewhere, someplace, I make another kid (or perhaps grown-up-kid) lose themselves in my words for even a short while.