Why do writers write?
We can say what we like: for God, for enjoyment, to get better, for myself...and also have the dreams: publishing, money, fans, contests, acknowledgment...
But what do we really want? We want to be read. We want someone to read our words, and like them. We may not always admit to our dreams of the lines of fans and publishing (I know I didn't), but those dreams actually stem from something very simple: a longing for an audience.
My friends and people who have read every post in this blog are probably well aware of my struggle over the last year, especially expressed in the posts Soli Deo Gloria and 115.
I realized yesterday specfically that I already have an audience. I've had flashes of this thought before, but I hadn't really pondered it until yesterday. Forest of Lies has been on the contest showcase page for well over a year: I still get PMs from people who read it. They're often new to the forum and have just figured out that Nairam is the person with a claim to that lopsided but heartfelt book. Every time I found out some other person has read my book, I get a little jump in my stomach. It's frightening. It's exhilerating. I'm not sure how wide my swath is right now, and for humility's sake I'll try not to think about that too much. I would guess around 50, though. That's mindboggling to me.
Last night, I posted the first 8 pages of my newest work, because another thing about writers is that they are very insecure and self-berating. I wanted to make sure I was on a the right track. This morning, that rough draft has been downloaded 9 times, and two people commented almost instantly last night.
I don't say this to brag, exactly. I'm mentioning it because it made me realize, that whatever happens in the world of contests and publishing and agents, God has given me an audience already. Even I have no idea how many people have read my work, how many people may have been touched. When I made the boast all those months ago that all I wanted was to touch one person's life, I rapidly discovered something: I can never know. I don't know if I've changed someone's life. Maybe the only life that will truly change through it all is mine. But who knows--maybe I've encouraged one person in some element of their life. I don't know, and it's likely we'll never meet.
And that's okay.
Last night, I realized something. My God is awesome. And His plan is way better than mine.