Weird confession: I hate bookstores. To be clear, the reader in me LOVES bookstores. It’s the writer in me that has the problem. You see, it’s here that my itty bitty shitty committee really gets down to the business of making me believe that I have no business calling myself a writer.
“You want to write books, eh?” (Canadian, clearly.) “You see ALL these books? Just sitting here?”
I do. I see them. They look anxious and jumpy, like they may spring out of their dust jackets and run for the door, unable to handle the pressure of not knowing whether or not they will sell.
Library books don’t look like this to me. They look sleepy and content. Dormant, really, ready only to be awoken on that odd occasion that they are borrowed. The books on the shelf around them stretch out, happy to have more space to themselves.
Library books are resting. Bookstore books are expectant.
The chair of the committee continues, “Yeah, these books were written by people who actually know how to write books. People who have already had bestsellers, and you know what?”
I’m ignoring them, but they continue.
“Even those may not sell. Nope. No guarantee. You write this thing and then try to get this thing published and still people may not even buy it. How embarrassing does that sound?”
Very. Very embarrassing.
“Books? Ain’t nobody need more books.” Somehow the hillbilly on the committee is now the spokesperson. “And ideas? That quota was reached. Didn’t ya know?”
Ugh, did I mention I hate bookstores?
But the feeling is so familiar. To me, a bestsellers list is like the podium at a skating competition. Only a few get to stand atop it. And if we only had people creating who were guaranteed a spot at the top, the world would be missing out on so many beautiful new ideas.
So, my loves, if you are not creating the thing you want to create because you’re not sure how it will work out, welcome to the club, the club of all creators ever in the world.
We each have to sit down to create the way every single human has created since the beginning of time, without guarantees. With an idea and some courage.
Maybe it will work out and maybe it won’t. But, you tell that hillbilly the quota is not reached. Not even close.