I know it has been way too long since I last made a blog post. I was going through a lot with the Holidays, Morning Glory being released, and classes starting back up. And honestly, I couldn't think of anything really good to blog about. But after attending a reading of another author (who shall remain nameless) I suddenly realized something that I think people need to know. Especially writers and aspiring authors. It's a big one. A huge secret that people in the literary world don't tell.
Being published will not fix you or all your problems. Being published will not make you happy.
I think for many young writers (and I'm totes putting myself into this category!) believe that once they land that book deal, they will feel fulfilled, appreciated, and most of all happy.
Wrong. So wrong.
Being published is great - a huge blessing, but it's not everything. If you're writing for the sole purpose of becoming published, then you should stop now, put the computer away, and find another way to try to "make it." Because it will not give you everlasting joy and peace. It can't possibly do that.
Now, going back to the reading I attended, I learned something very important. But it wasn't till after I had left and talked to someone who knew the writer well. This writer has many books under her belt, has won many awards, has many great reviews, etc. She has a great job and she's doing what she loves. I found myself wishing to be more like her. Until I heard what her friend had to say. Get ready for this.
She wasn't happy. She wanted more awards. She wanted more prestige. She wanted more recognition. You see, simply being published wasn't enough. She wanted more.
Let's be honest, we all have felt the same way this author did. We all want more of something. But hearing that this author, who is quite well known in the literary world, wasn't happy astounded me. But then I realized why she wasn't being fulfilled by the things of this world. Because they are just that. Things.
I don't hide the fact that I love Jesus. I give Him the glory for all my books because He gave me the gift and talent for writing. My trust, my fulfillment, my hope, my dreams are in Him. Not in the things this world has to offer. And I think that's why this author was so unhappy. Her whole life has been dedicated to uplifting herself, gaining more attention, more books, etc. But this world disappoints. And so do its things.
Even if I had never been published, I would still be happy, no, joyful. I have Christ and that is more than enough for me. I have to remind myself of this every time I feel like I need more. I don't need anything but Jesus.
So back to my message to all those who want to be published. It is not a bad thing to want or desire. But it can't consume you. You can't think, "When I am published, then I will be happy and fulfilled." False. Wrong. Not gonna happen.
My biggest advice to aspiring writers has changed over the past two years. Forget the idea that publishing your book will make you happy and joyful forever. It is such a blessing. I'm not bashing published books or writers who have made it. But I am warning you of the danger of letting it consume you. Write because you have to write, because you love it, because your mind would explode if you didn't. Not because you want awards or fame. Trust me, I have gone down that road and it is full of disappointment. Your life's goal has to be bigger than just being published and getting prestige. Being published is such a small thing to live for in the grand scheme of things.
For me, my life is to further Christ's kingdom, to show others His love, and to bring more people into the everlasting, awe-inspiring, unbelievable, beautiful, and overwhelming grace and love of God. That's my mission. That's my life's goal.