For many years it was my dream to be a famous writer. Like, a REALLY famous writer. My idol was Jack Kerouac, and while that was partly because I loved the beauty of his writing (and still do) it was also because of the recognition he achieved. Never mind the fact that fame only contributed to his tragic downward spiral, that’s a story for another day. The point is that I wanted what he had—status, notoriety, and success.
I knew that if I had those things I would be happy.
But a funny thing happened on the way there…I noticed that when I concentrated on using my writing to gain recognition from outside parties, my writing suffered. I suffered too. Writing that way wasn’t much fun. And I also realized that I had no idea what outside parties wanted from me. I would think I had a grand idea for a little while, and then it wouldn’t seem so great. Or I’d try to write something that was really “current” only to find the times had already changed and that thing wasn’t “in” anymore.