The pursuit of success
Bucking tradition, I don't set New Year's resolutions. I give several reasons for this, but the main one is that I don't want to.
I've always been defiant like that. I dance to a different drummer, oftentimes to music only I can hear. Of course, my children have long since noticed that, with the youngest relishing the information that authors tend to suffer a higher incidence of mental illness that the rest of the population.
Who said I suffered?
So, no resolutions at the frigid, dreary beginning of the year to set myself up for failure. I wait until spring.
But life during this short season moving from Christmas to Ordinary Time to Lent demands more than hibernation to pass the time until spring. So, I'll buckle down and write. And read. And ponder the wisdom of going my own way, writing mainly to please myself, and insisting upon retaining my voice and creativity in my own work.
Therein lies the struggle of most authors, especially fiction authors: the market influence. Writing for commercial success might actually result in commercial success, but it also lends itself to commonplace, mediocre prose forgotten as soon as the reader turns that last page. It's good for a momentary amusement, a distraction. It offers neither sustenance nor inspiration to the reader's mind.
I write fiction. My work offers entertainment, an escape from the humdrum drudgery of daily life for those who read it. I hope it is not forgotten.
I do not write for commercial success, although I certainly won't spurn it should it come my way. Indeed, commercial success serves as universal, socially acceptable validation. I write because, if I don't, my mind will explode. The expansion of the idea swells until it must find release.
My stories don't pursue commercial success; they pursue good storytelling. I want the memories of those stories to linger in readers' minds.
So, read my stories and let me know what you think.
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