Monday, April 30, 2007

When have you made it?

I read several writing blogs on a daily basis, sometimes more than just once a day. Most of those blogs are listed to the left here. But there are another half dozen blogs I check out every once in a while, and then there are times I spend an hour or so gazing around the Web for new blogs by writers, editors, wannabees, what have you.

One thing I've noticed in most of the blogs by writers is that they always have goals, they are always reaching for the next level. Some beginners are just trying to get that first short story published. Other authors are trying to get that first book deal. Still others are published but trying to be able to quite their day job. And Stephen King is working toward his next million.

It just seems as if it's never enough. Don't misunderstand me, because I'm saying this is a good thing (though I can see downsides). There always should be a next level for a writer to reach for, another mountain to climb, another ocean to swim. It's part of the greatness of being a writer, part of the fun. What's my next project? How will I tell this tale? What kind of different story can I come up with?

But ... when have you made it as a writer? When your first book is published? When you get an agent? When Hollywood comes calling?

I have my own goals, some for the near future and others for waaaaay down the road, but I'll know when I've made it. My major goal: To be able to write full time without having to hold down another job.

That's just me, how I feel. Anyone else want to share their opinion?


David L. McAfee said...

I think it's more that most writers (and people in general) have short term and long term goals. In my case the short goals are steps up to the long term goal, which is the same as yours. I.e. to be able to earn a living writing.

The short term goals that build up to that are finish a novel, get an agent, find a publisher, make the world fall in love with you, etc etc. You take those steps in progression and hope the next step goes as well as the last one.

Dawn said...

My goal was to have a book published. Now that is - almost - a reality, I realise I won't be saitsified until I can make a living as a writer. In little ol' New Zealand, that isn't easy.

cyn said...

i think i'm a step by step kind of girl. first i wanted to finish a novel. i did that. now i want to finish editing it. haha! i think my primary goal is to write something i am proud of. of course, i'd love it if it got published. i can't fathom writing as a living. it is so challenging!of course, that would be a dream, too!

Anonymous said...

I can use the written word to take the thoughts that are in my head and put them in your head.
Mission accomplished.
Life is good.

Anonymous said...

well, overall my goal would be similar: reach the point where my writing can sustain me, or, reach the point in life where I am sustained and thus free to write!

Secondary to that, my goal was to write, scratch, publish a novel. I started writing it, met George RR Martin who told me to write some short stories, and have been trying that for the last 2 years - without touching my novel in that time.

My only resolution this year was twofold: get at least one short piece accepted and published and then return to the novel and set aside the short works.

I'm still writing shorts and getting slower at it every day.

jamie ford said...

My goals started out as “make a living as a writer” and have changed to “tell stories that are important and interesting to me.”

Ironically, the latter is working out a lot better for me.