What result do you want from your writing?

It used to be believed that a writer only had to connect with a major publisher and fame and fortune were just around the corner. Everyone would know your name and a million dollar advance cheque would be yours.

Until the day you woke up and realized that too many writers were chasing too few readers and that publishers needed platform and proven performance before they would look at your manuscript.

But still people write and get great satisfaction from it. Why?

At the very least, it means that you have got your thoughts organized and presented coherently. That’s far more than most people achieve.

If you’re writing fiction it means you have created a world of your own, with characters you yourself invented, creating conflict in the way you direct and working the whole to a satisfying conclusion. People read it and are entertained and perhaps learn from the message. You entertained and perhaps taught. That’s an achievement.

If you write memoir you are giving newer generations an insight into the world of the past, a world they might never otherwise have understood.

It comes down to your ability to influence other people. The pen (or the word processing program)  is mighty. Your stories, articles and blogs create change. You might make a harassed person smile, or a closed-off person feel an emotion for the first time in years. Would you think that gave your work significance?

If you took someone out of their weary world and set them loose in your fantasy world, even for a few minutes, would that make it worthwhile?

If you offered support, encouragement, a new perspective to even a few people would that make your work valuable?

If you have discovered something, learned something, connected some dots that you never saw before – and you share that, have you made a contribution?

Have you reached some understanding of yourself that might resonate in other lives?

The joy of writing comes from the influence you have over other people. Lasting or ephemeral, it doesn’t matter. You might have created a smile or a complete change in behaviour. It could be in people you know or  in people on another continent.

It used to be that if your story or article didn’t sell it would be buried in a drawer. With today’s technology there’s no excuse for hiding any of your work in a drawer. Self publish, blog, ebook it. What you have written is worthwhile.

Use your influence.

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