Any avid reader, which most writers are, has had this experience: You finish a book and think, “I can’t wait to tell my friend/wife/husband/mother/boss about it.” In fact, the literary agent Donald Maass pointed out that this was how breakout bestsellers are made, by one friend dragging another friend across a bookstore and saying, “You’ve got to read this.” This is how we should sell books: as if we have just discovered it and can’t wait to share it with the rest of the world. There is no purer motivation than love, no better stance from which to offer anything. “I love it; I thought you might too.” It never feels like enough to love something by yourself. It is only the fear of rejection that restrains love’s natural, gravitational movement toward others.
The ego preens in false modesty. Who am I to draw undue attention to myself? All stinginess and withholding is fear. As if our love of something could be contested by another’s opinion. You will never know anything as clearly as you know what you love. It is your first and last knowledge, your guide, and your happiness. To withhold what you love from others is to judge them as unworthy of it. It is never for any of us to judge who is worthy of love and who is not. Give them the same chance you would ask.
And anyhow, what you love was never yours to begin with. What you love came to you, and you recognized it, and you asked it to wait a moment, and now you’ve helped it find a way to other people. That’s all our writing is. We are just the conduits of love from that which gives to those who wish to receive.
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