Guest Blogger: Beth K. Vogt
Excuse me while I unhitch my wagon from the stars.
No, I’m not choosing mediocrity. I embrace Ralph Waldo Emerson’s original intent of the phrase “Hitch your wagon to the stars” — encouraging people to strive for great things like love and justice.
Emerson, lucky man, knew nothing of today’s “stars” that so many writers pursue: the ones found in Amazon book reviews. Or Goodreads. Barnes and Noble. CBD. Books-A-Million. Pick your preferred online book seller.
I’ve seen many a writer chase the virtual stars tossed across the Internet. Hey, when my nonfiction book was published, I climbed aboard that wagon and chased down each and every review, gathering up the stars of opinion. But with my debut novel Wish You Were Here hitting the bookstores next month, I’ve thought long and hard about the whole “here come the reviews” wild ride.
And I am not aiming for the stars.
Don’t get me wrong. I hope people like my novel. I mean, why else would I write a book – for people not to like it? Sheesh.
Here’s one thing I know:
Some people will like my book. Some people won’t. And hitching my wagon to the stars tossed out by readers and reviewers sets me up for a bumpy ride. Five stars = a smooth, paved road. One star = wagon in a ditch.
Do I want to anchor my sense of self, my sense of satisfaction, to a daily tally of virtual stars? Believe me, given the right set of circumstances – fatigue, a need for approval, unrealistic expectations – I could be all about the tally.
Here’s something else I know:
I am not the sum of the stars amassed on some website – no matter how many 5-star reviews I receive. And I am still not the sum of the stars amassed on some website – no matter how many 1-star reviews I receive.
People can decide whether they like my book or not. People can even decide if they like me or not. I’ve already decided where my sense of worth is found – and it’s not in an unstable, always shifting pile of stars. I’ve hitched my sense of who I am to my faith . . . and that’s all I’m going to say about that. Not because I couldn’t say more, but because I truly want this to be a dialogue – a conversation – not a monologue.
Has your wagon ever been overturned by bumpy reviews? Have you ever been buried under a pile of stars? Have you hitched your sense of self worth as a writer to anything – and how’s that working for you?
Beth K. Vogt provides her readers with a happily-ever-after woven through with humor, reality, and God’s lavish grace. She’s a non-fiction author who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Beth has discovered that God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” She writes contemporary romance because she believes there’s more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us.[ Next Post → ] [ ← Previous Post ]