Louise Erdrich Doesn't Care About Reaching "Beloved Author" Status, and Neither Should New Writers

Louise Erdrich has been all over the literary web lately because of her latest release, LaRose (Indie). News, reviews, and interviews featuring Erdrich pop up daily as she is the preeminent Indigenous author writing today—with Sherman Alexie being the only other current Native author that sells as many books as she.

Yet even with all the fame and recognition, Erdrich doesn’t seek out “beloved author” status. Instead, Erdrich writes stories because for her, “writing itself is the reward.” This pure approach to writing, writing for the sake of writing itself instead of trying to maintain a “brand”, is the driving force behind good novels and stories.

We’re told otherwise by many unknown and unskilled writers who say our brand is most important and that we need to design a specific website for authors, to give away a free ebook on writing or some other vapid “resource” in return for gathering email addresses, and to offer consulting services in order to make it as a writer. Nowhere is there a mention of actually writing.

Erdrich has succeeded by writing. Just plain and simple writing for the sake of the story. New writers, myself included, should focus less on marketing or striving for "beloved author" status and focus more on writing the story.