Yesterday, a writer and publisher friend of mine posed this question: Would you rather be a bestselling author or a best-writing one?
Now, the dream answer to that question, obviously, is BOTH, but we were only allowed to choose one.
I know the answer I’m supposed to pick. I’m supposed to say that being the best writer is the most important thing. Integrity and talent and all that. And yes, writing is SO important. I’ve read (or at least attempted to read) books that are atrociously written and they made me want to scratch my eyes out. It kills me when books that are poorly written become bestsellers (not mentioning any titles but…). But then again, that’s just my opinion. The people who read and enjoy the books clearly don’t think the writing is that bad. I can’t fault them for that. I can disagree, sure. But if that’s what they like to read, more power to them.
I want to be a good writer. I would never share a book or a story that I thought was just “okay.” I take a lot of pride in my work and I always try my best to produce high-quality material.
And yet, if I had to chose between best-writing and bestselling, I’d pick bestselling.
Here’s why. You can be the best writer in the world and write the best book in the history of ever… And yet if no one reads it, what’s the point?
I don’t care about winning awards or being remembered. I would rather write books that are fun, that people enjoy reading, even if it means they’re not in the same league as the greats. Which I know they’re not. The kind of books I write will never be nominated for a Pulitzer or be studied in a classroom two hundred years from now. But I do think that they’re fun to read. And that’s what matters to me.
There are few things I love more than getting a Facebook message or an Instagram post from a reader telling me how much they loved my book. It’s a thrill like you wouldn’t even believe. The thing about writing a book. Yes, it’s a dream come true, but it’s a dream that comes true every time someone reads your book. Writers are so lucky in that sense. We get to have the same dream come true over and over and over again. And it’s all because someone read our book.
So thank you to all the readers out there, for making dreams come true every single day. You might not know it, but you are the most important people in the world to us.