Everybody’s still obsessed with celebrity. In an era when you can follow on twitter your next-door neighbor and probably have a better chance of reaching him or her, we still fall for the trap of idolizing people just because they are famous. Maybe it’s an LA thing, but I find myself and others more obsessed with becoming famous than writing anything good. It’s a trap, and it’s scary.
I think every writer needs to take a step back from their career and ask, “Why am I doing this?” It’s not enough that you want a book contract. It’s not enough that you want fans on Facebook. I know, everyone is in it to win it, but why win something, like a fan base, if you can’t justify it? There’s no satisfaction in just being famous; besides the money, the adoration, and the free swag, who cares, right? OK, fine, a lot of people care. But there are deeper rewards and they exist outside the arena of celebrity.
The belief in writing has to be stronger than the desire for fame. Your words making a difference on the page have to be of greater concern than the swag at the back of an awards show. I forget who wrote this, but somebody much smarter than me wrote that books are like daughters, you want them to be regarded by a couple of people, not the whole town. I’m sure I butchered that quote, but you get the point. It’s better to have good fans versus many fans (although the latter is probably more lucrative, cf. Stephenie Meyer). But hopefully by the time you do get famous, you will have earned it, you know? That’s good fame. Nobody I know is there yet, but as long as you’re on that path, and you’re honest, and you’re writing, what else do you really need?
Besides swag goodie bags…