How Much Impact Will Your Writing Have?

Have you ever held four or five books in your hands and suddenly gotten the impression that you were holding souls?

So as some of you may know, we’ve been rearranging bedrooms at my house, and one of the many activities involved in this is cleaning out the bookshelves in what-was-once-the-kids-room-but-now-is-the-older-girls’-room. We had so many books on those shelves. Boxes and boxes of books.

And most of them were covered in dust.

As I was grabbing fistfuls of these works and tossing them into a bin (not a trash can, for those of you who aren’t American), it suddenly occurred to me that each book I was holding had been super super special to the author at some point. Maybe it was one of many books. Maybe it was their life work. In either case, at some point they spent hours pouring their hearts and souls into these things.

And here I was packing them away possibly forever. I never read most of them.

Now, I’m sure that there are plenty of people out there who have read these books, and I guess that’s my point. Any one book is never going to reach EVERYBODY. I know writers like to imagine that we’ll be the next J.K. Rowling or maybe even J.R.R. Tolkien (if you’re ego’s really inflated), but if you think about it, there are still people who haven’t heard of Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. No matter how famous you get, you’ll never reach everybody. And even if you reach quite a few people, there will always be some who have your books on their shelves for months and then throw them away, having never read them.

It’s a common saying that it doesn’t matter how many people you reach, as long as you reach one. Even if that one person is you. Because you’re never going to reach them all. Although a literary version of Pokemon would be pretty cool, to be honest.

That’s my thoughts for the day. Stay crazy, friends.

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