It may seem like a dumb question, but every author should ask themselves:
What would make me happy?
Notice I did not ask: What makes you happy? All authors need to have goals if they are to achieve more than what they already have. So doing what already makes you happy is fine, but is it enough? What would make you happy?
Authors need to know why they do what they do in order to be better at it. They should understand why they write and what their purpose is. Would fulfilling your purpose make you happy? Ok, what is your purpose?
Questions lead to questions. Keep asking – and keep striving to uncover your truth -- and pursue it with passion and urgency. Become what you want. Or do you want what you have become?
Essentially, writers should not be afraid to list the things they want and then to take real steps to obtain them. First writers want to write, purely driven by a need to create and get the words out of themselves. Then they want an audience and seek readers. They want to be published. Then they want recognition – reviews, sales, awards, and praise from strangers. They want to influence others and impact people’s lives. They want to make a difference in the world – and be rewarded for doing so.
Then again, that is my belief, need, want, or desire being started. You have to answer the question yourself.
Perhaps there is no one answer for this question. It could vary from person to person and change over time for any person. What could make you happy? Is it achievable? Will you pursue it?
Writers may simply want fame, or to make money, or to entertain others. Not everyone seeks world peace through their words nor to even the most talented writers, think they can write anything, that would convert the mind of a killer or the heart of a hater. There are limits to everything, including where our words can take us.
I think most writers would be happy with more. More of what, you say?
More of the things they find comforting – more readers, more popularity, more money, and more people who say they agree with their words. How many of any of this would vary, but we all want more of what makes us happy. That is the foundation to all of our passions and addictions.
We keep eating, drugging, smoking, sleeping, gambling, fornicating, gaming, and hobbying because these things make us, at least temporarily, happy. Writers are no different. We write to get a high. Pen to paper, fingers to keyboard -- we each write our happiness and snort it while looking to answer: What would make me happy?
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Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are the product of his genius. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo.