It isn’t often that a publishing company gives this “author” a phone call. For some reason or other I must have sent them an inquiry a few years ago, as they had my email address. The charming customer service man asked how many manuscripts I had done or were in progress.
“Two are done, one in progress.”
“And are you looking to publish them….?”
“No, no, not really. I am a most unmotivated writer. My joy is in the writing, so…I’m already happy.”
“But your work…it could be shared more broadly, more people could read it, etc…Wouldn’t you like to see your work read by more people?”
“See…here’s the thing; it’s hard to entice someone with things that may make them happy when…they’re already happy.”
“Wouldn’t God want you to use your gifts for others?”
(to myself: oh, I do believe He also delights in faithful obscurity)
Then the conversation got around to the real point; that I could get a discount on the membership for their Author Learning Center site. That I could get tips there from pros and learn marketing strategy and how to promote my writing. In only “fifteen minutes a day” I could be learning so much. Perhaps.
“But, I’m learning Norwegian right now; that takes up my extra time. My five kids need all the rest.”
He didn’t have a ready-made rejoinder for that.
I don’t believe that I’m a bad writer (likely wouldn’t do a blog if I thought I had nothing to offer), but I do grasp that I lack the ambition that my author friends have. I have a knee-jerk reaction to promoting myself, marketing myself, and networking in general. Writing is pleasant to me, so I write.
To hold my own published work in my hands…I don’t know. I don’t know if that would make me more happy, fulfilled in a new way; I just don’t know. Maybe it would bring a new joy into my heart; maybe it would tempt me to be insufferably proud and/or insecure.
I really loved rowing. I really hated the regattas. But, to be part of the club, I needed to participate in them and do my best. Two times my double and I took second; once in the Chilean Nationals, and once in a regatta honoring the Chilean police force. Then, in one of my last races, we won gold. We pulled across the finish and realized all the boats were behind us. There was a lift in my spirit; I was happy to have done well for my club. I liked the joy of my team and friends. But for me? It really was better to set out for a good long row with no medals and no fanfare, quietly gliding over the waters next to pelicans and sea lions; working hard, but in obscurity, and loving it completely.
I know that the regattas taught me things I wouldn’t otherwise have learned…I am sure attempting to publish my works would do the same, but I cannot bring myself to strive for that, at least, not now. There is nothing that compels me; no inner drive, no dangling carrot, no sense of obligation.
And so, I write here, obscurely and delightedly.