Sunday, January 2, 2011

Writer Goals

You've noticed it's 2011.
New Years is traditionally a time for looking forward and attempting to avoid the pitfalls of the previous year by planning and resolving. Funny thing about a writer's life - the more you plan the more you realize how much of what you do is utterly out of your hands.
An industry in perpetual flux - so much so that it makes a person wonder why anyone would want to be a writer in the first place. Unless you are a writer. Then you know the answer to that question lies somewhere between calling and insanity.
A writer can sit at her desk and declare to the New Year heavens, "This is the year I'll get an agent!" Or, "get published", or "become a bestseller", or whatever goal springs to mind when one thinks about books and getting those books into people's hands.
But.
Writers have very little control (oh, let's face it: No control) over these kinds goals. They are in fact not goals at all. Hopes. Wishes. Prayers. Fervent, fevered mantras, maybe. But they aren't the writer's goals.
Writers write. They tell stories. They stare unanswerable questions in the eyeball. They strive to become better at telling stories. Better at facing their naked humanity.
The writer's goals need to be true goals - achievable. Something that the writer has a modicum of control over.
Small things.
The work of writing.
Better.
The small things.
Read.
More deeply.
Be faithful in the small things.
Honor the craft.
Become the writer who is faithful in the small things.

I bid you good writing.

5 comments:

Jan Cline said...

Faithful in the small things and honor the craft...that is a great 2011 goal. We just do what we know to do and the rest is what happens out of our obedience and commitment.

Shakespeare said...

Yes, yes, yes! All we can do is write...

Bonnie Grove said...

Jan: And it's nice to think about the things we DO have control over. Otherwise, the writing journey would be discouraging.

Shakespeare: Agreed!

Steve G said...

Great advice! It is also probably freeing. When you let go of the stuff you can't change anyways, it frees up more (emotional energy) stuff for the stuff you can!

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