I’ve seen several discussions regarding writers losing the initial excitement they had when they started writing. Some of that loss, I believe, is due to reality replacing the anticipated results of being published; i.e., our book hitting best seller charts, awards, TV and radio interviews, instant recognition.
On December 8, 2016,I will be interviewed on LA Talk Radio “The Writer’s Block.” (http://latalkradio.com/content/writers-block )
Over the years I’ve been on TV and radio; yet, rarely do people (other than family and friends) know I’m a writer. Of course, those interviews have not been on Oprah, or any of the network TV shows. Even this talk show, although it originates in Los Angeles, will not rocket me to fame. For one thing, it’s an Internet radio station. (Actually 2 stations now.) It can be listened to on your computer, smart phone, or iPad. You can listen to it live, or as an archived show. (My live interview will be on at 7:00 p.m., Pacific Time. That means—because I live in the Eastern Time Zone—I have to be up at 10:00 p.m. to be interviewed and listeners in my area must also be up at 10:00 p.m. to hear the live interview. The interview will then be archived.)
My point is, as much as I’m looking forward to this interview and the opportunity to talk about my books, on the day after the interview, I won’t suddenly be a nationally famous writer.
My guess is I’ll never be a famous writer, and yes, that is a disappointment. I have some wonderful fans (people I actually don’t even know, people who, besides my family, have bought and enjoyed my books), but I’ll never be the key note speaker at a conference, I’ll never have to wear sunglasses to hide my identity, or have to have a secretary to handle all of the requests for interviews.
When we start, we have dreams. (Which is good.) We love the story or stories running around in our heads, and we can’t wait to get them written and published so others can enjoy our stories. We tell ourselves that’s all we want…but then, once that first (or first few) stories have been published, we realize we want more. We want the peer recognition, the 5 star reviews…the money. That initial thrill is replaced with a desire for more, and if we don’t achieve all we dream of, we are disappointed.
Some writers stop writing at this point. Others go through the ups and downs of publishing and ultimately do achieve some degree of stardom. (We’ve all heard of the overnight success stories about writers who had 20 or more books published before the “break-through” novel that has put them at the top of the NYT best seller list and onto the silver screen.)
Of course, there are always those writers who do rocket to fame with the first or second book. Do they reach a point where they are disappointed? I don’t know, but I do know there are some writers who write a book that’s acclaimed by all, then never write another for fear the next won’t be as good.
Most of us are going to face disappointment at some time or another. A lot depends on the dreams we had to start with and how willing we are to modify those dreams with the reality of life. You may never have that same excitement that came the first time you sat down to write, but every now and then a story will pop into your head that brings back that feeling.
Between those times, writers write.