“Literary popularity was never a paramount object with me, even in my youth; and, now that I am old, I am utterly indifferent to it.” -Lydia Maria Child
I cannot honestly say that literary popularity is never a paramount object with me; it’s something I strive for, something I’ve always wanted to cultivate for myself since I was young. Being known as an author that people enjoy reading, creating stories that people get excited about, is a dream of mine. Though I never let it overshadow the fact that nothing is better than the writing itself, I would be lying if I said an eventual popularity and success in the literary world isn’t something I would love to happen and at least a part of why I do what I do.
That’s why I can’t help admire people who make a statement like Lydia Maria Child’s above here and actually mean it. The context of the quote is in a rebuttal letter defending the abolition of slaves, expressing her strong opinion to a Southern audience, so you can just feel that it’s meant with all sincerity. What she is writing about is more important to her than being popular; her message is more important that any social incrimination she may receive. I am not exactly writing anything so incredibly admirable as Child, but I am writing a little bit for an audience. I am writing with an ulterior motive of my own success, rather than completely and selflessly for the words themselves.
I’ve met other authors who are able to write merely for the pleasure of it, to voice certain opinions, or just because they have to, it’s simply a part of their core being. I’m definitely in the latter category; writing is a part of my soul. But if that part of my soul can get a little infamy to go along with it? I’ll definitely take it…
How about you? If you’re being honest, do you care about literary popularity? Or are you more like Child, able to find yourself utterly indifferent?