Daily Archives: July 22, 2010

Seven Writing Sins: Lust

I want.  I love.  I need.

Lust, at its most basic, is an overwhelming need or desire.  It is unhealthy in its excess.

I want to be a writer.  I don’t hide that fact.  Goals and dreams are healthy components of a positive life style. 

I love writing.  Writing fills something within me and I have never been able to not write.  Even when pen and paper aren’t handy, I write in my head.  I love the way words fit together to create something magical.

I NEED=LUST

I need to get published…

I hear this often and my silent response is: or what?

What will happen if Writer A never gets published?  Because if we are talking odds, they are not in any writer’s favor.  What will happen to the quality and focus of the writing for those who lust after publication with a passion so deep they can’t fathom a healthy life beyond a byline?

Over the past year, I’ve read about this debate on many blogs and forums.  It kind of goes hand in hand with the greed question.  Why do we write?  What do we wish to gain?  But more than that, lust impacts what we will sacrifice to get there?

Already, I spend a lot of time on my writing.  I create new stories, edit them repeatedly, submit, hone, learn, write, edit, blog, etc.  My free time is filled with writing tasks.  Yet I have a family and another job.  I have a husband and a dog.  Parents, friends, church and volunteer committments. 

I simply do not have the time or energy to lust after publication.  I want it.  I would love a byline.  But, in the end, my self-worth is not tied up in publication.  This allows me to keep my focus centered on quality, rather than on the burning desire to find my name on the front cover of a book.

In your opinion, what is the difference between lusting after publication and pursuing the healthy goal of seeing your book on the shelf?  How do you manage your time so that you keep your momentum but don’t cross the line into need?