I recently got the opportunity to hear author and pastor, Mark Batterson, talk about the book he’ll be releasing next fall. He introduced himself and told the following anecdote.
“If you think you are a leader, but no one is following, you’re just taking a walk. So I guess if you are a writer, and no one is reading your books, you’re just journaling.”
He isn’t wrong. Writers write so readers can read what they wrote. It’s a pretty great deal. But what if no one reads what you write? Is it still worthwhile to write if you know that no one is going to read it?
I’m going to do the one thing that I am probably most ill-equipped to do here and try out a sports analogy. If you are a basketball player, every hour you spend on the court is worthwhile. Even when you are missing baskets, even when no one is watching, you are honing your skills. I doubt any serious athlete would say that time in practice is wasted time.
I think the same is true for writers.
Published authors have drawers filled with broken and unreadable manuscripts, but the reason that they ended up getting published is precisely because they wrote those crappy novels first. They learned from their mistakes and probably thanked heaven that no one saw them.
And so I won’t be too bummed if no one reads my early works, my blog, or my works in progress, because I still see the value of journaling.