The Reach of an Unknown Artist

When I meet a true artist, my soul stirs because they are free to create. They hold a perspective that eludes the average person’s attempt to engage in creativity. The resulting work inspires the heart.

Oh, to be an artist.

Then there are people like me. I’m a person that finds myself creating for others. I have mastered many elements of the craft, but no one takes notice until I create under someone else’s name.

It’s an odd feeling.

I write the equivalent of a book every two months. The clients love the stories I’ve provided. But I’ve got to say it’s an odd sense to see those stories with someone else’s name on it.

My First Book

I’ll never forget when I wrote my first book. I was happy and nervous at the same time. While my story skills were good, my writing abilities left a lot of room for improvement. But, I pressed on to promote my book with hope for a future.

At that time, I knew about 10,000 people from all my activities. It gave me hope in selling at least 100 books. I figured that I’d sell the first dozen to family, the second dozen to close friends, and another 80 to everyone else.

I sold three books.

It was an odd feeling.

Think about it. I had several of my stories read online by millions of people. Should I not have been able to sell more than three copies?

Up to that point, I never called myself an author. After that point, it took years before I’d use that title.
My next book sold about 200 copies to complete strangers. I didn’t even bother to offer any books to people I knew.

Others Promoted

When it came to my fifth book, I decided to tell my pastor about the book. After all, it was inspirational. I thought he might let those who attend church know that I had a new book available. He did not.

Eight weeks later, I felt awkward.

The pastor raved about a woman’s new book fro the pulpit. He encouraged everyone to buy a copy. He talked about it for two weeks at several events. He even had it in the newsletter.

In the meantime, I wrote for other people. I watched my stories get wide distribution with other people’s names as the author.

It was an odd feeling.

I’ve since gotten my MFA in creative writing. My grammar and writing abilities have gotten much stronger. I guess that happens when you write 3,000-5,000 words a day for other people.

I recently attended an online conference. The keynote shared a story that touched the audience. It was one of my stories.

I felt good about my story touching others. But everyone’s amazement focused on how he created such a moving story, which made me feel awkward.

A Fading Away

Recently I bumped into a man who asked me about my first book. He told me that he still intended on buying it—this is some 20-plus years later.

I told him not to bother since the last printing was a long time ago. He then shared his enthusiasm for my next book, which I stopped writing. I explained that only have so much time to write each day and selling stories as a ghost writer seems to be the way others read my stories.

It is better to touch someone’s life through others than never touch them at all.

A friend once shared, “You can do anything you want in life as long as your willing to keep your name off of it.”

My stories have reached millions of people without my name on it. And, my stories have reached hundreds with my name on it. What would you choose to do?