.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


A Little Celebration

I heard a writer on CSPAN 2 the other day talking about other writers. "They say they write for themselves," he said. "But they always happen to write books for themselves that are 100,000 words with a specific marketable audience."

On the one hand, I understand what this author meant. On the other hand, I have no audience. My novel remains unpublished. My other projects are still in the fledgling stage--maybe even just the eggs stage. Agents and publishers continue to prefer communicating with me through form letters.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to whine. But with so much rejection flying at a writer--if I'm writing for publication, I ought to stop. It takes too much time, too much energy, and too much from my family.

Even if I am writing for publication, I ought to stop. A friend of mine in the industry said first novels traditionally sell 1,500-5,000 copies. (5,000 would be better than average, he said.) Obviously the presses hope for more than that, but these numbers are pretty typical. For a first novelist.

With those numbers, writing for publication will earn me a whopping 5000 dollars at the most. That's a pretty pathetic annual income for a parttime job that takes this much time.

But writing only for myself seems so egotistical. So arrogant and self-reliant and all the worst sides of Emerson.

Can I really believe I am doing this for God? I would like to think so, but that thought seems pompous and deluded. Shouldn't I be thinking of God more as I write if I am doing it for him? Then again, why would he want me to write if no one will read it. How do I know if I am following his will or chasing my own pride? How many readers does a book need to justify its own existence? One? Two? My family? My friends? Is God alone enough reason to write? I know what the answer should be, yet being a practical American, I want to serve in a way that produces quantifiable results. My writing isn't even qualifiable yet.

Nevertheless, today a little celebration. I found a new market that gives me hope. Faith@Work Magazine.

So I will post a poem in celebration. (I really do write poetry for myself--or at least for my wife and kids.) The poem is for my pastor and worship minister, though I haven't given it to them because I think they might take it wrong.

Update 8/25/2006: Faith@Work magazine never even responded to my query. The pastor who inspired the poem resigned two months later.

HillCountryWriter Category: Publishing
Technorati Tags:

Post a Comment | Add to del.icio.us | << Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?