In light of Justin’s excellent post below, I started thinking about how I used to think about things. Early on I wrote a lot, and constantly. I had a lot of things I hoped to do. I remembered at one point a friend had told me that one common element to many successful people was that they had early on written down their goals on paper. The concrete object of those goals existing in words then was supposed help them become true. I think I remember scoffing at that some, but then one day in 2003, before I’d really published anything I can remember, I followed his advice. Today while digging through my hard drive, I found the file there in an old folder. This was just after I’d finished the first novel I eventually abandoned, before the next 3 novels I abandoned, before I got to anything I would keep today: each one, as I realized I had to give it up, from which I learned something that helped me write the next one, and write it better, I believe. In the meantime, while those to-be-destroyed words were growing older on my hard drive, I continued to work more.
Which is maybe at least part of the point Justin was getting at: that, in all the makings, it should be about the making first, and that the spread thereafter is something else entirely, and by no means necessarily a goal in and of itself, but one that should be attended to with care. I don’t think I knew then it would be I think 3 years before I started to gather toward actualizing the first item on the list. Maybe if I knew that then I would have done something else. Maybe not. Still, since 2003, a lot has changed, environments, forums, access, but on the other hand, a lot has not. Whatever these mean for ‘where I am now,’ and as goofy or green as they may seem almost seven years later, you can take for what it is: a continuation of an idea, one still in the manner of its cycle, every day:
My Goals as of May 5, 2003
– Get short stories printed in small to medium sized magazines, starting probably with online ones, and then hopefully spreading out to print.
– Get either an agent or a publisher to accept my novel. In the meantime, continue editing the second one. In this case, a publisher would be better than an agent, but in the end, both are acceptable.
– Continue working on new short stories and random text ejaculations. Keep working on the next thing.
– DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE. Refuse to allow my aspirations to be subverted by narrow margins. Create.
– Continue to make small relationships with other writers, no matter how unaccomplished they might seem to be. At the same time, no unwarranted ass-kissing.
– After one of the first two novels has been finished, hopefully substantiate readers by spurring interest online. This part of the plan is still hazy, as I’m not sure how that operates yet, but it will come.
– Writing is writing.