Over the last few weeks my reading has held some pretty weighty topics - the war in Afghanistan, human trafficking, persecution in China and cancer. Every single book was brilliant in its own way. All made me look at the world differently and all left me confronted with a very real question. Is my writing too frivolous to be worthy?
The truth is that I don't write about wars, or terminal illness, or oppressive regimes, or slavery. Should I ever be published, I have no expectation that my book is going to change someone's life, let alone contribute to educating the reader as to various injustices in the world. My greatest wish is that someone gets to kick back for a few hours, enjoy the story and decides that it was $15.99 well spent.
I just write about ordinary people. They aren't freedom fighters, or missionaries, or dying. They have jobs and a roof over their heads and their worries are things like; Am I going to get fired? Is my heart going to get broken again? How did I get here?
Even the most avid of readers only buys a few books a year in the grand scheme of all that is out there. Do I really want to even try and compete with people who are writing books about things that matter?
And here I am conflicted. You see I like those books too. In a world that is hurting and broken sometimes, in my selfishness, I just want to curl up on the couch and read about a girl and a guy, and in the grand scheme of things their lives aren't hard, or complicated and if they'd just darn well tell each other how they really feel the story would be over by page 50, but they take the hard road and so it takes 300.
Because that is me. While there are people doing amazing things and changing the world, I have a job, and a mortgage, and I love my husband, and we sponsor children with World Vision, and we do groceries on Saturday mornings, and we buy fair trade when we can, and we spend more on takeaways in a night than some people earn in a week and then we recycle the containers.
And quite frankly I would be embarrassed if any of my writing ever found its way into the hands of someone in a war-torn, poverty stricken nation because the things that my characters spend 25 pages angsting over would be a luxury for them to even have to worry about.