... that a writer in posession of a completed novel must be in want of an agent.
The real quote's about a single man being in want of a wife, but my edited version has a purpose. Everyone wants a literary agent, right? Everyone wants to see their novel in print, right? Hence the "it is a truth universally acknowledged" bit.
Maybe, and hear me out, the truth's not as universal as we might think.
Take the grandmother writing her life story for her grandchildren. Does she want to see her memoirs in widespread publication? Probably not, because she's convinced no one outside her family wants to read about growing up in the 1940s, or how her mother coped with having a husband fighting off in Europe (or the Pacific). Now, despite the fact that many people probably would love to read that story, our fictional grandmother has no intention of pursuing publication because that's not why she's writing the story.
There are some people I know that are natural storytellers. They can weave tales so vibrant you can see them happening in your head like a movie. And they have no desire to write them down and attempt to publish them (although let's face it -- spoken word skill isn't the same as written word skill).
Then there are people who write down their stories and get a few copies self-published to sell at their church bazaar. Maybe the churchgoers love it, but no one outside that community would understand why the book is so engaging. This time, the novel really doesn't have a wide audience appeal.
Does the lack of desire to be published make these storytellers less skilled? No, of course not. It just means that they have a different focus than someone like me or my fellow Alliterati. We're willing to put months (and years) of our lives into composing the best, most vibrant, most engaging book we can. And then, if it gets rejected a few times, we move onto another project and keep moving forward until we hit the provebial sweet spot (if it ever happens).
So what's my point here? If you want to write, then write. The road to publication's tough, and I'm sure the published authors among us will quite willingly say it wasn't easy. But, like Bane said yesterday, if you have the will to stick around, then you've got a better chance of hitting that sweet spot.
Stil write though. No matter what your plans. Just take joy in the words.