maybe I should write licensing agreements

I was thinking the other day (as I was upgrading the operating system on my Mac) that I may be the equivalent of the guy who writes the software licensing agreements we all click through.

I have two dozen short stories “out there” (and five dozen feature articles), plus nearly a decade of posts here on this humble blog, yet is any of it ever read anymore? My latest One-Match Fire story is coming out in that anthology soon, and I suppose a few people will read it — and I am grateful for that — but will it just disappear into the fog of the millions and millions of written words out there, never to be picked up and read again? Even I haven’t gone back and re-read some of my earlier stories in a long time; isn’t it even less likely that any other human soul has?

I’m not sure what I want. Sure, it would be nice if my stories were read and re-read and savored and recommended and admired long after I shuffle off this mortal coil. But that doesn’t seem reasonable (unless I were Herman Melville, say). Yet a tiny fraction of that doesn’t seem too much to expect (even for a person of more humble skills). And I know I am not alone in my plight (or self-indulgent moaning — you decide). Most writers likely suffer the same “fate” as I. Yet I imagine the bits and bytes that make up my published stories, or the lit mags that languish on shelves, are never visited again after their initial brush with attention. Do my stories even exist anymore? (I have a similar thought about a book I re-read and learn that I remembered nothing about it from the first read. Can I even say I’ve read a book if I can’t remember anything about it?)

Again: not sure what I’m trying to say here (or puzzle through). Am I writing solely for myself (not as the only reader but as someone who takes satisfaction from creating something new in the world)? Is that enuf? Is it reasonable to expect more?

Thoughts? Enlightenment? Similar musings or navel gazings??

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3 Comments on “maybe I should write licensing agreements”

  1. pete29anderson Says:

    Write only for yourself. If it’s rewarding to you, that should be enough. If anyone else enjoys your work, consider it a bonus.


  2. See if you can get readings in local lit fests. Sometimes no one shows up but your spouse and you feel like shit or other times people you wouldn’t imagine can hear and enjoy your work.

  3. Paul Lamb Says:

    Indy – I am much too shy for that.
    Pete – I’m my worst critic though.


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