So what are we doing here, anyway?
And I don’t mean that in a self-defeatist, ‘writing is sooo danged HARD’ way, although I certainly have those moments occasionally. What I mean is, I like to step back and imagine the end result of all this work I’m doing. Not daydreaming about seeing my book in print and climbing the bestseller list – although that’s plenty fun, too – I mean, thinking about the people who will eventually buy it and read it and what it will mean to them.
In the grand scheme of things, it might not mean much to them at all – and I’m okay with that.
I don’t know, sometimes I feel there’s an assumption that a writer must want to impart some Grand Message to the world. What if I don’t? What if I just want to tell a good story and entertain? Make a reader laugh, sigh, and occasionally blush? If my book entertains someone through a transoceanic plane flight, or keeps her mind pleasantly occupied while she’s in a hospital waiting room, or just makes her feel like cuddling up to her significant other – I’ll feel like all my work was worthwhile.
That doesn’t mean I’m out to write pure fluff. (Or impure fluff, for that matter. *g*
But it’s perfectly okay with me if no one ever puts down my book and thinks, “Wow – that story changed my life.” I’ll feel really happy and successful if people put it down and think, “Wow – that story made my life a bit more fun.” And the highest compliment I could imagine is for someone to say, “Wow – I want to read that again.”
Although, I must admit – it’s tempting to imagine that some CM-ish genius will put down my book and say, “Wow – the Dog Biscuit Gods just gave me the cure for cancer.”
How about you? What’s your goal in writing, beyond getting published, beyond commercial success? What do you hope a reader will take away from your books?
(And thanks to Sara Lindsey for the graphic!)