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Death Before Fame: The Greatest Odds For Writers

Updated on November 20, 2014
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Purchased rights from fotolio.

The Goal

The times pass that as a writer, I get slight feelings of depression when there are low numbers.

Yes, writing is my income. When sales are low, so is the amount I eat.

I have people ask me if I write for the fame. No, I actually don't. It is enjoyable when you receive a compliment, or someone asks you to sign a book, but even if there were only 2 people on this world, with myself being one, and hopefully Lastheart being number two, I would still write.

Do you write?

Why do you write?

Is it for the fame?

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Courtesy of | Source


Many, yes a great many writers do not find fame until they are dead.

If you are seeking to be famous in your writing endeavors, good luck. The competition is immense.

Consider some of these famous writers who became famous after they died:

Edgar Allen Poe

Poe did actually make a living at writing. He didn't make a great living, and much of it was spent on drugs and alcohol.

Not all that long before he died, Poe wrote the poem: The Raven. That poem did become a hit, but didn't really lift him to a famed status as a writer.

Edgar Allen Poe died at 40 years old. He lived and died poor. We all know that after he died, Poe's bizarre stories and poems grew in popularity. His fame came after the grave.

John Kennedy Toole

You may or may not be familiar with this author, but I really feel for him.

John wrote and sent his manuscript to publishers, only to be rejected time and time again. The pressure of wanting a published book, and the fame of doing so drove John to his grave.

It was by his own hand that he died. He committed suicide in 1969.

The same manuscript that so many had turned down was published in 1981. The book was so well done, Toole was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Toole received his fame years after he was put in the ground.

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This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. | Source

Emily Dickinson

With her poetic style, many would have thought her fame would have spread before her death. It didn't.

Emily had some of her works published, but they were often changed by editors. When they changed them, they destroyed the original art of Emily's words.

After Emily's death, her sister discovered many of her poems.

It was after Emily's burial that people recognized how good her words truly were.


Are you getting the point?

If a person thinks that by writing they will gain fame, they are probably mistaken.

Sure there is a small percentage that attain fame, but to reiterate: a humongously small percentage.

As writers, our goal should not necessarily be fame and prestige. Personally, I just love the thought that so many humans can enjoy a talent God blessed me with.

You all can keep the fame. Now as for fortune....if that comes along, I could use a taste of it.

No, I write because I am addicted to writing. I write because I like to write.

For all you writers: keep those words coming! It isn't about the fame, it is about sharing our gift with the whole of humanity.

That is the definition of a true writer.

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© 2014 Greg Boudonck


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    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 3 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico

      Thanks for stopping in MsDora. Keep writing!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Got the message. I keep writing because I have to, and I want to. I've got something to say. Will visit your site.

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 3 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico

      That is a cool thought. The fact that humans who are completely different than we are today may read our words. So cool!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love the message, Greg, but then you knew I would. A little more money would be great, but I love the fact that long after I die, people will be reading my that is very cool.