A couple of days ago, I found myself perusing People magazine’s “Book Picks” section (a recent edition with one of the hundreds of Duggar people on the cover). None of the books were of any great interest to me, but what struck me was that I was even reading that section, at all.
The last time I remember reviewing People’s Book Picks section was a few years ago when I turned green. Not from being sick, but from becoming overcome with envy: An author with whom I’d attended several writing conferences had his book picked. I knew the dude; he was a good writer, but if I’m being honest, I thought his manuscript was about equal to mine. Yet, here we both are, several years later, and his book, published by Simon & Shuster, gotten a huge nod in a large circulation pop magazine, while I still struggled with independent presses. My envy had gotten the better of me and, after throwing a fit of childish self-centered jealousy, I swore off ever reading People Book Picks. I never again wanted to find out of an author with whom I’d worked getting way further than me, ever again.
But the, a couple of days ago, there I was, reading the Book Picks section. Had I forgotten about my oath? Did I find forgiveness in my heart for the literary gods who had forsaken me? Perhaps I wanted to experience the green monster again and simply rolled the dice?
Well, no. I had neither forgotten nor forgiven nor sought another slight. The reason I was able to review People’s Book Picks again is that I’ve realized that writing, in and of itself, is for me its own reward. I may not ever make a living off of my own words. I probably won’t be a New York Times Bestseller. And it’s a pretty safe bet that I won’t be featured in People’s Book Picks anytime soon. Don’t get me wrong, if any (or all) of those things happened, I would walk on clouds for God knows how long. But, somewhere along this writing path of mine I’ve figured that writing is the purpose of my writing.
I want to improve and practice this craft of mine. I hope that I have readers. But, in the year and four months since I’ve been blogging, I have found comfort in simply writing. I don’t have a gazillion followers nor has anything I’ve written been picked up by say, Huffington Post. But, the fact that I have an outlet for my almost daily collection of words provides me with enough of a medium that anything else that may or may not happen would be icing, but not the cake.
So, I can read People’s Book Picks without reservation or fear. Regardless of anything else, I am a writer and in the final analysis, that’s really what I sought to become. The dream has already come true.