Few in the reading public have heard of me or of my latest novel, “The Brief Long-Term Therapy Of A. Lester Lord.”
By all common measures, I am a failure as a writer. I and my novels are unknown to the public at large. I have published more than one novel as well as numerous op-eds and letters to the editor in several prominent newspapers and journals. But, for various reasons, I do not even acknowledge authorship of some of my work. Revenue from sales does not even come close to offsetting what I have paid out to professional editors.
No matter that most of those who have read my stories have lavished them with praise. Nobody knows my readers either. Like me, they are not notorious, prominent, rich, famous, or celebrity seeking. People like us, if we are achieve any recognition, have to struggle to get the attention of the public. We have to devote more time to self-promotion than to creativity. We have to give up too many things that are essential to a balanced and healthy life if we are to single-mindedly pursue fame and fortune. Even should we choose to do so, our chances of material success are slim.
Every artist is confronted with this dilemma. It is not always for lack of talent that they remain obscure. Those of us who do not wish to subvert most of our time and energy to self-promotion, effectively leaving us little time and energy to produce that which we’d like to promote, must be able to accept the near certainty our works will languish in obscurity.
Why then do I bother to write? I write because I love the process of writing, the tangible pleasure of struggling for, the satisfaction of finding, just the right word or turn of a phrase, a novel metaphor or simile, a string of beautifully resonating alliterations, an inspiration for a twist of plot that carries the story forward, and the ability to make it all seem real.
I write because I enjoy the intellectual exercise that strains my mind and has taught me to patiently revise and edit. Some may think of editing, re-writing and more re-writing as tedium. To me, it’s half the fun; a puzzle that needs to be solved, a challenge that must be met.
I write because it permits me to comment on the world as it is and to create my own world, one that transforms my reality into something new. A world that progresses along the path that I dictate, not dictated by others over whom I have no control. A world where I can take a mulligan or two and have things come out the way I wished they had, or perhaps, just for fun, the way I wish they hadn’t.
I write because I can create new people, usually inspired by people I already know, transforming them into the people I want them to be, good and bad, wise and foolish. They are sometimes a vessel for my thoughts and sometimes they have something to teach me. They become real to me as they have become real to some of my readers who refer to them as though they truly exist.
I will keep writing, expecting no return other than the joy I experience in the process. Not that I’d mind if my work did somehow become recognized.
Please go to Amazon Books and consider purchasing “The Brief Long-Term Therapy of A. Lester Lord,” my recently published sequel to Joseph D. Nehemiah’s novel, “Cosmic Casino: The True Word of A. Lester Lord.”
In coming blogs I hope to take you step by step through “The Brief Long-Term Therapy of A. Lester Lord,” demonstrating the train of thought that led to its creation.