A few years ago, before I ever published a book, I confided to a friend that I had received a disappointing rejection. (That may be a redundancy: what rejection isn’t disappointing?)
“Isn’t it enough that you wrote a book? Does it matter if no one reads it?” She clearly felt that was an accomplishment in and of itself, and that I should not push the envelope any further.
I should point out that this woman was an artist. We were in her studio, where her paintings, some complete and some half-finished, hung on the walls or were displayed on easels.
“Do you plan to leave your paintings here and never sell them to anyone?” I asked.
“Of course not! They are meant to be seen.”
“And books are meant to be read,” I said.
This was some years ago. I don’t know what happened to her. She was one of those people who are in your life for awhile and then drift on. But I still remember the conversation.
Books are meant to be read.
Lately I have been a little discouraged. I have achieved that enviable state of being a published author, but to date I am not read by very many people. There are too many books out there, all clamoring for the public’s attention. I haven’t thousands of dollars to invest in promotion and, probably naively, have depended on the promotional opportunities I could afford and word of mouth.
Which leads to me to confess I haven’t written a word in weeks. Some part of me wonders if it is worth the time and energy to produce yet another book that only a few people will read.
Or maybe I should keep writing, if only for my own satisfaction. Maybe, as my friend suggested, it is enough to have written it in the first place.
Maybe I shouldn’t worry so much about it being published, although that would be nice.
And if others read and like my stories, that’s a bonus.