Aspiring writers dream of the day they’ll become a huge writing success and be a guest on all the talk shows. They imagine the money flowing in, quitting their day job, buying that new car they’ve had their eyes on for months.
That’s a dream, however, that rarely comes true for most fiction writers.
The reading public also seems to have the misconception about writing and fame. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked by friends, “When will you be on Oprah?”
Getting a guest slot on Oprah is not likely to happen for your average novelist. If you do get lucky, it can be a wonderful thing for your career, but most of the writers I know — or know OF — have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever sitting on that famous couch in Chicago.
If you’re going to dream, why not dream big. But also be aware of the realities of the fiction game. What we do is hard work, and the biggest payoff is that someone will read that hard work and get some enjoyment out of it.
There’s no greater reward than to get an email from a reader who says, “You kept me up all night.”
So feel free to dream about appearing on Oprah, but know that the reality is that you’ll be lucky to even be featured on your local news station, or get a review in your local newspapers.
There’s nothing I’d rather do than write books and entertain people with my made-up stories. But I didn’t get into the profession for money and fame and guest spots on television, and hopefully that’s not what motivates you either.
Forget about Oprah and simply write the book you want to read. None of the rest matters.