Remember why you write
There’s a lot of talk online these days about the business of writing — blockbuster contracts, movie tie-ins, the financial benefits of self-publishing, Kickstarters, etc. I’m certainly guilty of it myself. Unfortunately, the main reasons we write — to tell good stories, to create and to reach out to other people — often get lost in all the arguments about money. It’s the way of the world.
Sometimes, though, you get a nice reminder about why you’re doing this writing thing in the first place. My second novel, The Warhol Gang, came out in 2010. It got lovely reviews but it didn’t make me rich, and it’s kind of hard to find these days. I still like it but I haven’t thought of it in a while. I’m busy writing new books, after all. Every writer knows new books consume all your waking thoughts and even some of your sleeping ones.
Yesterday, three people mentioned The Warhol Gang to me in messages. They didn’t know one another, and it wasn’t synchronized or planned. It was just three different people who saw something in the world that reminded them of The Warhol Gang and they thought enough about it to let me know.
That is worth much more than money to me.
To write a book that stays with people, that remains alive in their memory long after they put down the book, that is what every writer strives for, I think.
I’ve taken to sending messages of thanks to writers who have made a difference to me, as I want them to know their works have been appreciated and live on with me. I also want to thank all of you, my readers, for being the people who like the sort of stories I tell. The world needs more of you.
Sometimes, it’s nice to be reminded of why you write.