One of the many blogs I read is Mr Nathan Bransford. This week he posted a hypothetical question. I am paraphrasing here, basically the question is “Would you still write if you absolutely knew you wouldn’t get published (at least by a “real” publishing house and not self publish) and be successful.
I find this interesting on many levels. For one, if writing is a passion and something a person gets enjoyment from what difference does it make if said person gets published or not? Oh I know all about the validation and the joy of so called success, but what I really mean is, if you love to do something, won’t you do it even if fame and fortune doesn’t come along with it? Maybe said person won’t work as hard to get a manuscript extra, extra polished, or maybe they will. Certainly they could spare all that wasted time trying to find an agent and/or publisher, but if it is passion, won’t you just write because you like it?
Second, as with anything practice makes for a better crafts person. Does practice make perfect? I highly doubt it. But a person certainly will get better at what they do, if they keep practicing and learning along the way.
Third, if an artist or crafts person is only doing what they do for the potential money, they are not likely to be successful anyway. Maybe people who say they would quit writing if they didn’t get published, just don’t realize most writers do not become rich and famous. In fact a great many of them cannot afford to write as their full time job. With this in mind, why would a person choose to only write for the money?
Forth it is certainly okay to love to do something, even when a person knows they may not be naturally gifted in an artist sense. Writing is an art, just as glass working is. It can also be a craft. Or maybe both to the same person.
To me writing is a skill, just as lampworking is a skill. When I was first learning glasswork, I was certain I would never make anything good enough to sell, and was even more certain I wouldn’t ever make a living at it. I was pretty sure I didn’t even want to try that. But here we are 4 and a half years later and lampworking is my full time job and I love it. If I found I could no longer sell my work, I am certain I would still melt glass, it just may take a different turn. I would play and experiment a lot more. Certainly I wouldn’t make nearly the amount of production I do now, but I would still be found out there melting glass.
So, would I stop writing if I knew I didn’t have the chops to get published. Heck no! Right now I am doing it because I like it. Really like it. When I am done writing the novel, I will reread and rework it and probably will try to shop it. I mean really, why not? Doesn’t hurt to try. I highly doubt I will stop writing if it goes nowhere, which is highly likely. Right now writing is in the “This is what I like to do” column. If the joy of writing goes away, then I will put the pen down. Not when the agents or publishers tell me NO.