I don’t know Amy Petty, and I barely know her music. (I’m not much of an indie guy.) But I appreciate what she wrote in a blog recently about why she is not going to try out for The Voice or one of the other half-million competition programs out there these days. She says she is not interested in “making it big.” She is interested in making music — her music — and bringing it to whatever audience may be drawn to it. Making a living is nice, and making a better living would be great, but the joy is in the work and not the paycheck.
I feel the same way about writing. I am aware I could pander to a mass audience and have a better chance of being on bookshelves nationwide. But that’s not my thing. And I have nothing against my fellow writers for whom mass-market publishing is their thing. Go for it. Cash that check. But (and I hope this doesn’t make me come off as being self-righteous) I’m looking for something else.
I write to give an audience what it needs in a package it will like. What it needs is the gospel, “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). Getting a bigger audience would be nice, but I won’t cut God’s corners.
If I find a way to do the work I am good at (he said modestly) for a wider audience without hindering my larger obligations to my family and the local church, I would be a poor steward of God’s gifts not to take advantage. And if others can and do, I’m thrilled for them. This is not a competition.
I am content in my current state, to paraphrase Philippians 4:11. May God keep me from any “success” that might threaten that.