Wrong Goals ===> Disappointment & Misery

I recently had an email discussion with a writing colleague about how he was discouraged by the relatively few “returns” on his writing “investment”.  That got me thinking about writing goals again—I think a lot about writing goals.  In this case, I think returns and goals are intertwined, and one can’t be consider without the other. 

At the heart of the issue is the simple question: What do I want from my writing? 

People write for many reasons.  Most people who write will never make a living from their fiction—and by most I mean more than ninety-nine percent.  I think most people realize the odds are stacked against them and don’t expect their fiction writing to turn into a career.  Therefore, something else drives them to put words on the screen.  Maybe it’s simply a need to tell a story.  This isn’t a bad reason to write.  If a writer doesn’t want to go the hard road of being a professional writer, no shame on him.  I think it’s important to define goals appropriately—setting goals linked to publishing will likely result in a dump-truck full of disappointment and misery for the writer who holds few serious aspirations to publish in professional markets. 

I don’t see this as low-balling your potential either .  I see this as setting the correct goals for what you want, and ultimately, setting the correct goals is what should be done.  Writing shouldn’t make you miserable—I’m not a big subscriber of the tortured writer myth.  If it does, I think you’re doing something wrong.  Maybe it’s the goals you’ve set, and thus the kind of returns you’re expecting.

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About D. Thomas Minton

Writer of speculative fiction
This entry was posted in Goals, Writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Wrong Goals ===> Disappointment & Misery

  1. Colum Paget says:

    # I recently had an email discussion
    # with a writing colleague about how
    # he was discouraged by the relatively
    # few “returns” on his writing
    # “investment”.

    Whoever that guy was, he’s an idiot!

    Colum

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