Well, that’s the million-dollar–or billion-dollar if you’re J.K. Rowling–question, isn’t it?
What makes a writer famous?
Well, the answer is very simple: Their Writing.
Now, you probably thought it was the marketing, the book sales, book signings, press conferences, interviews, paid appearances in The Daily Show, Oprah, and all that other stuff, right?
Sure, you need to know the business side of writing if you want to have a career, I’m not denying that. But, if you really want to be famous beyond a doubt, the process is simple:
Write. Edit. Write some more. Edit some more. Repeat for the rest of your life, even on your deathbed.
Now, there are some of you that don’t care about being famous or number one bestseller and all that, and I respect it.
In fact, it’s often those who don’t care about being famous that become famous.
Let’s take Stephen King for example, shall we?
This man has written novellas as short as fifty pages to novels as long as eleven hundred pages, sometimes more. Now, do you think someone who writes that much that often has time to think about fame, money, adulation, and all that other stuff? No, he doesn’t.
The reason for Stephen King’s massive success is that he never confused his success for the main thing, which is writing. Writing and Reading. He has consistently, day in and day out, put writing and reading above all else and has done it more than anyone else.
He has perfected the rudiments and basics of storytelling and continues to do it over and over again, which is why we as readers keep coming back to his work (and why he’s often the first author any of us think of).
So, the moral of this story is, keep the main thing the main thing (reading and writing) because we’re writers, not marketers and salespeople.
Remember why you picked up the pen in the first place: to tell great stories and make people forget about their problems.
Of course, this depends on what writing you do but you know what I mean, the reason still stands that you picked up the pen to create something worthwhile, to fill your soul with a peace this world doesn’t often provide, and to share a piece of that peace with others.
Alright, I think I’ve gone on long enough.
Till next week . . .
Tell me what you think in the comments! I read and reply to all of them and welcome feedback for improving my stories, poetry, and insights. Thanks for reading!