Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What is my problem, anyway?

I can’t tell you how many times I vacillate between the feeling of urgency that I publish and the feeling of peace with just doing the next thing. I want to make money writing novels, plain and simple. But herein lies the dilemma. Publishing, really, is all about self-promotion and it would seem to me that self-promotion is based on ego and self-will and counter to the principle and practice of anonymity as I try to live it. Certainly, I can see my writing as an act of service, particularly after the recent experience of having someone I don't really know read the story of my clinical depression and email me about how much she appreciated it in light of her own struggle. There was no self-promotion in that--her coming upon the article was a happy accident. In keeping with my chosen twelve-step lifestyle, I feel called to work by attraction rather than promotion, but part of me wonders if my work won’t just die on the vine if no one is promoting it.

On the other side of this is the undisputed fact that I have, until recently, been unwilling to do what it takes to write professionally out of fear that my writing will be rejected and I won’t be able to “make it” as a writer simply because I am not good enough. While I am taking baby steps including this website and a commitment to take classes at The Loft Literary Center and start building a “network,” I don’t necessarily feel the call to get out there and promote. Rather, I am fairly content to write what I feel like writing when I feel like writing it and leave the rest to God. But at what point does entrusting my future and any possible material success to God become a convenient cover for retreating into fear and self-doubt? What IS my problem anyway? On the other hand, do I really have one?

Perhaps not.

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