On Writing for Fame

They always say you shouldn’t write to be famous.  You should write because you need to and you can’t help yourself.  You should write because you have something to say.  You should write because you want to perfect your craft.  Never mind the money or the success.  Those are not likely to happen to you anyway, so you should love to write for loving it and not for reward.

While this is true, that without these things you will not succeed when life gets hard and that you will likely never become rich from your endeavor,  it is not the whole truth.  What is at the heart of wanting to write is wanting to share that writing with others.  It’s the desire that something from your imagination will touch the life of someone else.  This is not possible without a modicum of fame.  How can you share your rich inner life with others if no one is listening?  You cannot.  A writer needs readers to complete the cycle, the more readers the better.  It is impossible to seek readers without seeking this notoriety.

You must go into writing knowing that, if you are very, very lucky, you may be able to support yourself monetarily some day.  You must know that you will never become the next J. K. Rowling, reading your work at the Olympics opening ceremony.  You must also seek readers for your work unceasingly, even when all seems lost.  But I declare to you that the quest to become a writer and the quest for fame are intertwined.  There is no one without the other.

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