During my cyberspace break, I dove into a few books that some read in high school or college, but I missed them for one reason or another. So, for an old story so widely read that inspires to many stories today, I downloaded “Faust.”
If there are any of you out there not in tune of the “Faustian deal,” this is the story of a doctor who gives up his integrity to Mephistopheles, a servant of the devil, to achieve his desired goals and in the end, loses all happiness and hope. In other words, Faust sold his soul to the devil, and the devil always collects, and the deal is never worth the cost.
I don’t get into theological discussions on my blog, but I do ask myself sometimes, “Have I made a deal with the Devil to do this?” Usually it involves the purchase of a house or car. The backslapping from a lender is cold comfort to know debt is in the future for decades.
How else does “Faust” affect our daily lives? Faust was a human and wanted to succeed. We new authors want that as well. So who is our Mephistopheles? I don’t think I’ve sold my writing soul, but I sure fell for some horrific expensive unhelpful services in the self-publishing industry. Since I don’t believe in blaming my bad decisions on others, I’ve served as my own Mephistopheles.
I do think writers should maintain their integrity in their craft, like any chosen field. But temptation is always out there for an easier way to reach our goals. Is it worth it? I’ve leaned getting noticed in this industry isn’t easy, and short cuts haven’t worked for me. The next time Mephistopheles promises me I can sell a million books in three months, I’ll kindly ask him to exit my presence.