May 7, 2013

Do You Want to Be a Famous Author?

Spotlight with text: Do You Want to Be Famous?

Every once in a while, I come across an article about figuring out our goals as an author. Heck, I’ve written posts along those lines. As we learn more about the industry and grow as authors, our goals might change, so it’s smart to revisit the question occasionally.

But there’s a Step Two to that self-analyzing process that we don’t talk about as often: Will the path we’re on lead to those goals?

If our goal is to see our book on a bookshelf, we need different criteria for the “is this a good publisher” question than if our priority is top-notch editing. If our goal is to build up a backlist quickly, we can research whether certain publishing paths would slow us down too much.

Lately, I’ve been questioning my own goals and path because the publishing industry is changing so quickly. Things that weren’t possible months ago are now easy. As a result, I’m tempted to mentally bulldoze my plans and start from scratch based on this new publishing world.

Question Everything

When we question everything, situations might not look the way we thought. Back when I first started pursuing a writing career in 2008, there was only one path (self-publishing was still something that “real” authors didn’t do). Likewise, there was—for the most part (especially in the U.S.)—only one dream:

Authors dreamed of becoming a bestselling author
and being interviewed on Oprah.

But just as the Oprah show is not the same anymore, so too is the publishing industry a shadow of its former self.

Before, no one dreamed of becoming a mid-list author because most of them were lucky if they made enough money to pay a few bills. Making enough to quit the day job? That required bestseller status.

Thanks to industry changes, more authors than ever before are making enough money, even as mid-listers. Neither Oprah or the Big however-many-traditional-publishers-are-left-this-week are gatekeepers to success anymore.

How Do You Define Success?

All those different paths mean that we have to decide what success means to us. Is it the book in a bookstore? Number of readers? Income? Reviews? Buzz? Name recognition?

There’s a big gap between the goals of “wanting to touch someone with our writing” and “being famous.” Both goals are legitimate, but the path that will lead to one goal will be different from the paths toward other goals.

So we have to know our goal and we have to identify the path that will take us there. However, nailing down such specific goals and paths can be difficult.

Do You Know What You Want—and What You Don’t?

Sometimes it’s easier to define what we don’t want than what we do. I know I don’t want to be famous. Never have.

I stated as much a year ago when all the E.L. James and Fifty Shades of Grey hoopla hit my blog. Some of her supporters accused me of bringing up the serious ethical issues in the situation simply because I was jealous of her success. When I pointed out that ethical concerns and jealousy weren’t related in my case because I had no desire to be famous, they assumed I must be lying.

But the honest-to-God truth is that I’m much too private of a person to want to be famous. I’m not only introverted, but can also be horribly self-conscious. Kristen Lamb and the WANA crowd at last year’s RWA conference can vouch for the fact that I’m not comfortable as the center of attention. Being famous would be a nightmare for me.

Will Your Path Lead to Your Goals?

The question of whether my path and my goals match hit home when I saw an article about how some fans of the Sookie Stackhouse books are reacting to author Charlaine Harris’s announcement to end the series (the basis of the True Blood TV show). My jaw literally dropped in horror.

This 61-year-old grandmother is now the subject of online taunts and threats from fans that they’ll commit suicide. For the first time in years, she’s not doing a book tour because she feels the need to avoid her “fans.” She’s even received death threats. Yikes!

That article resonated with scattered thoughts in my head. Like, maybe the default dream that used to apply to virtually every author—the bestselling, Oprah interviewee—never applied me at all. And I’ve been wondering if I’m on the right path for my goals.

Am I tempted to change because of a fear of success? (“I don’t want to be famous.”) A fear of failure? (“I’m sick of querying.”) Or because of a legitimate acknowledgement of the changes in the industry? (“We’re not stuck to a single path anymore.”)

I don’t know. I’m at a loss for how to tell if these feelings are an attack of the all-too-common writer self-doubts or a logical and reasoned question about whether my path really matches my goals. Yes, I’m probably over-thinking this, but uncertainty about decisions drives me crazy. *smile*

Do you want to be a famous author? Do you know what your goals are? Are you on the right path for those goals? How do you know? Do you ever struggle with decisions like this? Any advice for me? *grin*


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Shannon O'Brien
Shannon O'Brien

Great article – had no idea about the issues Harris has had (her FB posts had seemed a bit harried over the past year). All in all, Jami, you just need to ask yourself, “Do I enjoy writing?” if the answer is “Yes” then you can disregard the other questions. Personally, I’d love to have fame and money but my mom always warned me to be careful what I wished for 😉

Taurean Watkins

Shanon, I hear you, but you can STILL want to be published and still have integrity for your writing process. You’re right that we don’t have to make money for all our passions, but piratical pinning aside, some of us want write and publish SOME of that writing, even if we enjoy the process alone. You CAN WANT BOTH and be no less sincere.

Just playing Devil’s advocate here. It doesn’t have to be either or, and as such, those other questions DO matter, your personal answer just may be different than the common ones.

Like Maryanne said below-

“For me, it’s not about being famous, but being recognized. I want to be known for writing well, and I want my books to earn enough money that I don’t HAVE to do other work (unless I want to). But at a minimum, I want one book published in my life.”

That said, I’d like to publish MORE than one book in my lifetime, as my goal is to make being an author ONE of my careers. I have other skills I can learn to make money with, but writing has to be ONE of those careers, I can’t resign to being in a corporate job just to make ends neat, not everyone can thrive personally in corporate jobs anymore than not everyone is cut out to work in the military.

Maryanne Fantalis

For me, it’s not about being famous, but being recognized. I want to be known for writing well, and I want my books to earn enough money that I don’t HAVE to do other work (unless I want to). But at a minimum, I want one book published in my life. I want that validation and acknowledgement. I want the thrill of seeing a book of mine on a shelf in a bookstore, and being able to hold it in my hands. Am I on the right path? I don’t think I’ll know until I get there. *wry smile*

I think you are right to reevaluate your goals as you go along — both because the industry is changing and because YOU are changing. You’re not the same person you were in 2008, and you’re not the same writer you were in 2008.

(P.S. I think the “freedom” of the internet has turned fan culture into something twisted.)


My thoughts on your P.S.

I agree with you entirely. It’s like ‘mob-mentailty’ on a global scale.

I reckon the instant-ness of social media is also part of the issue.

Way back before the interwebz, if some awestruck reader wanted to let her favourite author know how much their story moved her, she had to sit down and write a letter, by hand, because at that time she didn’t own a typewriter. Rewrite it a couple of times, because she made some mistakes or typos, and it just wasn’t couth to use dollops of liquid paper (tip-ex) on expensive handcrafted notepaper. Depending on where she lived, it might take several weeks for the letter to arrive at the author’s pick-up point – usually their publisher or agent, then she would wait for any number of months for a reply, if one came at all.

Plenty of time for reflection.

I’m not knocking the immediateness, per se, of social media. It has changed so many lives for the better, but it also enables that part of us ‘oomins that are are reactive, rather than responsive.

I’m not sure what the solution is, if there even is one, but perhaps we can look on this social media age as being an exasperating, sometimes annoying, self-absorbed, occasionally inspiring, brilliant teenager.

Taurean Watkins

Jami, if it helps at all, I don’t think you’re alone in not wanting to cross certain lines in notoriety. That said you’re probably in a better position because your audience are primarily adult readers, with teens here and there, and fellow adults tend to get why they prefer not to be public about certain but for those of us who write for children and teens under 16, like myself, you have to work through this fear. Kids or teens can’t trust in authors who can’t open themselves a little to their own fears and opinions. Ellen Hopkins or John Green wouldn’t have the readers they do if they kept themselves too close to their proverbial vests. I may not be able to write about the topics and scenarios they do, but I respect that have both the courage and ability to pull it off. Also, keep in mind that at the very least, what you do for yourself in terms of “Getting out there” is key. At least you can say you have your POV out there. That’s one of the advantages in creating our platforms now. No matter how other media outlets spin us, our honest and direct opinions will be out there for anyone to read and make up their own minds. BUT, I have to disagree with you on one point. You said- “When we question everything, situations might not look the way we thought. Back when I first started pursuing a writing career in 2008,…  — Read More »

Serena Yung
Serena Yung

Oh my gosh, you mentioned me so many times in your comment XD I feel flattered. ^^ “I want you and Serena to have books to be proud of so much I’d hate to see you shot down because your personal beliefs blinded you to not settling for quality less than what you’re capable of, especially if you decide to self-publish as Serena does” My problem is that I’m not very good at spotting flaws in the first place, so I never know when my novel is “good/ perfect enough”… And also, when I ask my friends for editing advice, they give such contradicting advice. Some say it’s too fast, some say it’s too slow, some say it’s just right =_= Argh!! So frustrating and confusing, lol. “and unlike you, Serena, I need to market and query, and you still need those blurbs even if you self-publish, so unless you know a blurb writer in the business who will help you out, I personally can’t escape the blurb, either way, but that’s me…” That’s true. Blurb writing is actually quite fun, by the way–uh, if you’re self-publishing and not aiming to market or self-promote—-i.e. if you’re really just aiming to please yourself by having a physical book in your hands 🙂 So I’m sorry. I feel like I’m not being very sympathetic because my goals are so much easier than everyone else’s 🙁 I agree with you on how our society tends to demonize and dehumanize males! It’s so horrible.…  — Read More »

Taurean Watkins

Serena, I know you said you’re doing this for you more than anything else, and that’s certainly a valid point, but for me, and while I REALLY don’t want to sound vain, just pleasing me isn’t enough. I want this as one of my careers. I can’t achieve my goals if it’s “all about me.” I wouldn’t have grown as a writer had I keep my head in the sand, even if there certain aspects of the process that turns me into a jerky tyrant. That said, even if I were just thinking of myself, I STILL don’t find writing blurbs fun, and I can’t help that, all I can do is try to make them work and try not to be too hard on myself about something that isn’t my innate strength. Again, glad you don’t feel my pain on this point, but I can’t deny the lack of joy writing blurbs is for me. Changing the subject, it’s nice to know you and Jami agree with me about how we over-demonize men, and at the same time, expect more from them, too. You seriously can’t win! I can see how you can milk this for movies, plays, books and the like, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s NOT fun to live this in real life as it might be for some to read and watch. As much as women say there’s still inequalities for me to fight against, and believe me, I support that, but don’t take…  — Read More »

Serena Yung
Serena Yung

Oh, sorry, I think I gave the wrong impression of myself when I said I was “emotionally stable”, lol. I’m stable as in I don’t get upset too easily (though I do easily get upset over social inequality issues). But I am generally a “hyper and bubbly” person, haha. So maybe you could say I don’t have that much negative emotion (except on some things I particularly care about), but have a great deal of positive emotion! However, I’m not that happily positive either, because sometimes I do have anger issues (over certain things–usually, again, over social inequality topics…), and have a real “hate complex” sometimes. For instance, I get really really flared up when I hear about cases of adultery. For some reason, extramarital affairs really really upset me. 🙁 But recently, I’ve been trying to calm myself more, that I can see adultery as wrong yet not be so blinded by my rage at the same time. It’s also unfortunately the case that in online communications, it’s so easy misunderstand each other, because words can be interpreted in so many different ways! Emoticons help clear some ambiguity, but they don’t help completely, sadly. “I know you said you’re doing this for you more than anything else, and that’s certainly a valid point, but for me, and while I REALLY don’t want to sound vain, just pleasing me isn’t enough.” Just wanted to add that though in theory, I always say it’s just to please myself; in reality, I…  — Read More »

Taurean Watkins

Thanks for replying, Serena, like you I have to work at not exploding as much as I once did. I’m still opinionated at times, but compared to the big blow ups I had on AW, thse are WAY tamer, and I’d like to hope (For those who knew from AW) I’m less abrasive now, while still being honest. But like you I do have my touchy topics no matter what. Thankfully, I have great writer friends I can e-mail some of them just to get the anger and pain out, who know I’m raging about the issue, not them or even the person I have issues with at the time. For me, anything involving injustice towards kids and teens gets to me, and of course, being primarily a children’s (and SOMEDAY YA) author, that pain I feel for them is magnified times infinity… I’m especially protective of all struggling adults under 30, who aren’t married with kids to raise/support, because they’re too often portrayed as lazy hacks who don’t want to work hard. Yes, there are people like that, I just wish we saw MORE who weren’t in books and in real life, they do exist, and not to brag, but I’m one of them! In a more positive bent, any story about “Good Enough Fathers” automatically earns my resepect. Even if I’m not fond of the book or movie as a whole, just the fact that the dad’s not “pure evil” makes it it not be the subject for…  — Read More »

Serena Yung
Serena Yung

“I’m especially protective of all struggling adults under 30, who aren’t married with kids to raise/support, because they’re too often portrayed as lazy hacks who don’t want to work hard. ” Yes, it’s quite sad how some people automatically throw people into a category and label them as “lazy”, “wretched”, or something of that sort. 🙁 Similarly, it’s really biased how some people believe that everyone has to marry and have kids or else they’re not “contributing to the society.” XP There is nothing wrong with not wanting to marry! I myself want to stay single because in my opinion, marriage and kids would take up too of the time that I would rather spend in writing, drawing, and developing my skills in those two pursuits. Maybe there’s even more stigma towards people who don’t want to marry (especially for girls) especially where I came from, Hong Kong and China. Some people think that unmarried people are “inferior”, “unwanted”, or “tragically unattractive”, which is really sad, because that simply isn’t true. Lifelong bachelors and bachelorettes can be just as cool as their married counterparts! Here’s me going on a tirade again, haha. “In a more positive bent, any story about “Good Enough Fathers” automatically earns my respect. Even if I’m not fond of the book or movie as a whole, just the fact that the dad’s not “pure evil” makes it it not be the subject for one of my rants, and if you’ve read my blog, you know my…  — Read More »

Buffy Armstrong

I never want to be famous. Talented and respected, now that’s a different story. 😉 I mean, who really wants to put up with the nonsense that Stephenie Meyer, EL James or even Charlaine Harris has to put up? It’s exhausting just thinking about. My ultimate goal is to write the books I want to write, build up a backlist and put some money away. And in that order. I don’t have to be famous or rich to meet those goals, but it’s sort of like a supplemental retirement plan. The reality is I’m having fun writing and it fulfills the desire I have to create, to put something on a piece of paper. At this point, that’s all I want or need.

Kim Barton

Thought provoking post. It is always good to set goals. I was recently asked what my goals were for my blog…and I didn’t know! I’m taking a break from writing for a week to figure it out.

I have never wanted to be a famous writer. My main goal is to write a good historical fiction novel that is well received. I want people to like the story and characters and to find my historical research accurate. I do want people to learn something about the time period from my books. That’s one reason I do historical fiction.

I’m not doing this for money. I am writing for my own personal enjoyment. That doesn’t mean I don’t take it seriously. I read books and blogs about the craft of writing. I study the books I read and the movies I watch to learn about good (and bad) storytelling.

I want to be good at what I do, and I want to be appreciated for what I write, but I don’t need to be famous. This isn’t because I’m afraid of success, but because I’m an introverted person who is uncomfortable being the center of attention.

Thanks for another great post!


I am writing my first novel (horror/romance) & my goal is to scare & entertain my readers. Making money is nice of course but being famous is one of those goals best left in the rear. What exactly is “famous”? Being on TV? having your book made into a movie? Best-seller list?

Fame is one of those things that usually happens as a result of a plan & hard work & a bit of good luck.


I used to want to be able to walk into a store and see my books on a shelf-so sorta kinda almost famous, I guess? Then I saw Jennifer Probst’s success story with The Marriage Bargain, and I changed my mind. Her book wasn’t available in stores…and she still made a ton of money. The more research I did on digital-first publishers, the more the idea of actually making enough money to buy a new pair of shoes from my books took root (as opposed to the cup of coffee I could buy if my book was sold in stores). So that’s my goal: I’d love to establish a presence with a digital first publisher. I understand that means I could very well be forgoing having my books available in print, and I’m totally fine with that.

I love that there are so many more options out there now! In fact, I’ve actually made the choice to stop querying agents for the time being, and focus on submitting directly to publishers. I may pursue one in the future, but since my choice is digital-first, why have a middleman? All I need for a contract negotiation is a good lawyer 🙂

Marcy Kennedy

This post hit home for me. In 2011, back on Girls With Pens, I wrote a post about why I wanted to traditionally publish. I didn’t realize how much my goals would change in the less than two years since. Some of those changes are due to the upheaval in the publishing industry, but some of them are due to growing more comfortable in my own skin and being able to deal with some personal demons in other ways. Now self-publishing (or being a hybrid author at the most) is more in line with my goals. I don’t care about seeing my book in a bookstore, and I was never in this to become famous. I no longer feel the need to have an agent and/or publisher validate me. I do need to make money from my writing. I love what I do, and I obviously want to create quality books that touch people, but the bottom line is I need to make enough money at it that I can stop doing some of the other work I currently do. More money than I would get as a mid-list author with a traditional publisher. If I’m not eventually able to do that, then I’ll have a very difficult time justifying the large amount of time given to writing and taken away from my husband (and whatever kids we might someday have). Beyond that, I’ve been self-employed most of my adult life. That was a conscious choice because I don’t like…  — Read More »

Tamara LeBlanc
Tamara LeBlanc

Hi Jami. It’s funny you bring this up today. In my writing career I’m still latched onto my original goals, get an agent, have her sell the hell out of my book, see it on shelves. That goal hasn’t changed at all, but as of last year, when my husband lost his job and then got that horrible diagnosis, I’ve added a new goal to my writing career, make money. Honestly, before the C word came into our lives I never worried about making money selling books. All I wanted was to see my book on the shelf at B&N…that would have made me supremely happy. But, as of today, and my husband’s newest diagnosis (the tumor has returned and he needs surgery again this Monday) I feel so much more pressure to be the bread winner. I have very little to offer the job market. I’ve been trying my best to find a job, but I have no experience and a meager college degree so it’s been tough. I’ll hopefully be starting a job working for gwinnett County Schools in the cafateria next fall, but other than fantastic insurance (thank God) my salary will be next to nothing. So I suppose, now, more than ever, I’m pinning my hopes on my writing ability and my agent. I have huge faith in Nicole. She’s a tiger and I know she’ll work hard for me, but…sometimes, in those pesky dark minutes where all I do is doubt, I get very scared.…  — Read More »

Denise D. Young

My answer is similar to yours, Jami. I don’t want to be famous. I want to make a difference in the world, to write books that help people lead better lives. Maybe I make them laugh or smile when they really need it. Maybe I provide a sense of hope or healing or help them move toward a better understanding of others and themselves. Now, plenty of famous people do those things. But fame isn’t necessary to accomplish my goals. I just want to be a storyteller, to create art, and share stories with the world–to bring others inspiration and happiness.

Equally important, I also would like to contribute to the writing community by helping other writers. That’s why I’m in critique groups, writers groups, etc. I want to be respected for the kind of person that I am and for the quality of my work, but that’s a far cry from fame and fortune. Nice post. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

Melinda S. Collins

Hi Jami, I don’t think you’re afraid of failure or success. I believe, like Maryanne, that you’ve changed. Your personal views, the outlook on your writing career, your confidence, your options in the ever-changing industry have all changed since you began in ’08. So naturally your goals–or the path to your goals–are going to change as well. So I don’t think that’s self-doubt … more like the sound of reasoning talking to you to make sure you’re exploring all the options available to you now. Rest assured, my friend, any path you take for whatever your goal is, you are going to go FAR in this industry. *hugs* 🙂 Thank you, thank you for hitting on this topic today. I’m wrapping up a post for tomorrow that’s similar–the dream vs. the reality. It’s odd when we think about where our publishing goals began when we started out, especially when we compare those goals to where we’re currently at in our writing career and personal lives. It’s a lot like the revisions we do on our stories–we look at the plot points, the set-up scenes between said plot points, the MRU’s/Scene-Sequels, etc.. Goal setting, to me, can be a lot like “revising our writing journey/goal.” 🙂 As for being famous? I think I’ll pass. LOL! I wouldn’t mind being able to do big book tours and have movie deals, not gonna lie. But the negatives–like the pressure to do right by your fans, and the backlash you get when some of…  — Read More »

renée a. schuls-jacobson

I don’t want to be “famous.” I just want to complete a book and feel proud of it. I want to be able to say I’m an author. I don’t need fame. I just want to really feel like it was my best storytelling, my best effort. My best everything.

I wouldn’t mind being interviewed by Diane Reem though. 😉

Melanie Marttila

Hi Jami,
Love this post because it helps to keep things in perspective.
I write, because I love it and it’s what I need to do, but I, like you, am an introvert. (Actually reading Susan Cain right now, and she SO sings to my soul.) I’m not interested in being famous. Though it’s wonderful validation I don’t really need publication. I’ll keep on writing either way. The fact that I’ve had some interest in my work is verra nice, I won’t deny it, but I don’t need it to continue turning to the page or computer on a regular basis.
I’m patient, and persistent, and a perfectionist.
I work hard too. I submit to contests, and magazines, and once this next revision is done with, I’ll be submitting to agents and editors. I just don’t want to give publication the power to kill my spirit, rejection the power to still my fingers.
It’s everything.


I’ve heard too many horror stories about what happens to your life after you become famous to want to walk down that road. I wouldn’t mind being well-known as an author in a certain genre, but that’s all I would ever need.


Famous? Nah. Have enough passive income coming in so I don’t have to scramble to figure out how to pay the bills, when I fall sick (like I did over a week ago and am only now getting over)? Please. My birthday’s tomorrow (which is when a Kickstarter for release of book 2 in the series I love most but has the worst sales is due to fund*! Yay!). I’m working on book 3 in one series (which is where, from what I’ve observed in other self-publishers’ careers, things tend to take off). I have a novelette under contract, in editing—and I need to write the other two in the series. Among other things. *Note that I’m not including a link to the Kickstarter, because I’m not mentioning it as a mooching attempt. I don’t say all that to complain—I say all that to point out that it doesn’t help to sit there going “Woe is me! Why am I not selling?”—which is something I’ve seen a lot of folks doing. (“Oh, no! I’m not selling X copies a day! What am I doing wrong?!” As if a lack of sales even means you’re doing anything wrong.) Sales figures are dreams, because you can’t control them. Dreams don’t do you any good if you don’t make goals to put yourself in position to kinda-sorta reach them. Now, I’m Christian, specifically presbyterian, so I believe in God’s Providence—that God is the one who determines who gets what. You may scoff all…  — Read More »

Serena Yung
Serena Yung

Hey Jami! I love this post! ^^ Haha, I am a fame-phobic. ^^ In fact, I want to be one of those really cool people who are truly GREAT writers, but whom nobody knows about. I want to be one of those unknown Greats! 😀 The biggest reason why I don’t want to be famous is because I don’t want to become arrogant and think I’m “superior” to other people. 🙁 I have this belief that fame can separate you from the people you love, unless you have an extraordinary amount of self-control and humility, which I don’t. ^^ In fact, even the pursuit of fame will make me arrogant. Another reason why I shun fame is because I feel that if you become a public figure, people will form a certain image of you, and you will be expected to have that certain style/ story/characters, etc. I don’t want to be fixed into anything by other people. I want complete freedom over what I write, and not be controlled by my fans. O_O Yet another reason why I abhor fame is that from this Human Motivation course I took for psychology, we learned that having such an “extrinsic goal” of becoming rich, famous, and popular makes you more likely to develop depression. And you are more likely to have a lower life satisfaction too. As for my definition of what makes a writer successful, I think you’re successful if you manage to express what you want to express. And…  — Read More »

Rinelle Grey

That article about the Suzie Stackhouse books is scary! Sometimes I get frustrated at how a book/movie/tv series ends, but their reactions are taking it way to far!

As for writing goals, I have no wish to be famous either. I like my nice little quiet life, and I often don’t even tell friends that I write! it’s not about that for me.

I’d like to be able to make a living from my books mainly because it means that I’ll be able to devote more time to writing without feeling guilty! Mostly though, I just want to share my stories with others. Self publishing works for me because it has the potential to achieve both of these goals, without the need for me to be famous or do book signings.

Lynette M. Burrows

Jami, very thought provoke post (as evidenced by the comments you’ve received.) Fame is not a goal of mine. I figure it will come or it won’t. I have no control over that. What I have control over is what I write and how I write it. (I have no control over whether I write, that’s a part of me that I cannot deny). I would dearly love to make enough money to be able to quit the day job, so I can write more. 🙂 But the main reason I want to have at least one book ‘out there’ is that I want to pass on the joy of reading, the ‘touch’ that is reading a book that lifts your spirits or inspires you. I’m lifting my cup of coffee to toast you, ‘here’s to meeting our goals.’

Sondrae Bennett

Lately, I’ve been having a hard time what to do with my current project once it’s finished, and I think the biggest problem I’ve had is my goals need to be re-examined (although I didn’t realize that until I read this post). Looks like I need to do some soul searching.

Kat Morrisey

great post!! Hmmm, do I want to be a famous writer? Heck no. Not only would I never be handle a situation like Charlaine Harris has had to deal with (I’d be hiding in my house for fear of my life!) but I just don’t have the desire to be out in the public eye. I’m an introvert. If fame came my way I’d look for the nearest desk to hide under. And probably never come out.

So instead of being rich and famous I just want to keep writing the stories that pop into my head and continue *hopefully* to improve in the craft. If one of my books ever gets published, I’d of course be ecstatic and would likely cry like a baby for days. But not because I want to make money or be famous. I’ll cry because my words, my story, will be out there in the world for people to read. And as a writer, I’ll take getting my words out to readers over fame/fortune any day. 😀

Addy Rae
Addy Rae

I have no interest in fame, but I would like to make enough money to pay off my student loans and mortgage and live comfortably while saving for retirement. So, not rich, because I don’t need rich, but comfortable so a sudden medical bill won’t ruin us and we have money for our dotage.

I’d like to reach readers in my (somewhat specific) genres, and I’d like to write in them because they’re books I like that there aren’t very many written.

So I guess mostly I want to be read, and I want to be financially stable.


[…] Gold asks you to consider whether the writing path you are on will reach the goals you want to achieve, and Janalyn Voight advises how to avoid the second book […]


What I want is to reach out to other people who can relate to and appreciate my work. I also like the idea of making a living off of my writing, which requires some degree of commercial success. Fame is probably something that comes along with that package, but I’m kind of an introvert, so I see that more as something to cope with than aspire to. Luckily author-fame usually isn’t as intense as what actors, musicians and athletes have to deal with.

Sarah Aisling

Hi Jami! I don’t think I’ve commented before, but I do read and enjoy your posts.

I’m a very private person, so I would hate to be famous. I’m still working on my book, but I’d love for it to do well without having to be in the public eye. Only a handful of people in my life (outside of online friends) even know that I write. My fear is I will adjust what I write or hold back based on who might be reading it, so I choose not to spread the news around.



[…] written several posts about how we have to figure out our goals. Do we want to be famous? How can we prioritize fast, cheap, and good? How important are bookstores to us? I touch on the […]

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