Ever since the New Year, it seems everyone has been talking about “The Goal”. January was a month of promises and optimism; in early February the glitter started to wear off; and now at the beginning of March, so many lament.
With writer friends, specifically, the goals set up were so many words and so many chapters, so much editing and so many queries. The goals were strenuous, Herculean, all but impossible unless every other little thing fell into place. Then life happened.
Now, the laments are for too few words/chapters, not enough editing, too many rejections. In a word, failure.
One lament in particular made me look inside myself and wonder: where was I when all these goals were being established and paraded around? Why am I sitting here now with no lost goal to lament?
The answer is both simple and complex.
I find that I don’t understand the “goal” as a calculated end result. I don’t sing because Pharrell is going to make me a superstar. I sing because the song is in me. I write because the stories leap to my throat and must find their way to reality.
For me, the “goal” is the writing. Yes, I’d love to be published and I’m working on that as hard as I can. Writing is like singing the song — publishing is winning The Voice. Being too old, too sick, too “retro” to appear on The Voice will never make me stop singing. Being rejected for (insert reason) is not going to make me stop writing.
Perhaps it’s me. Perhaps my world is upside down. Or backwards. All I know is that I’m going to make my story the Chateaubriand of stories. Clean my plate, polish it off, and maybe I’ll get Publishing for dessert.
But the goal remains the same — the story must be told.
I understand weariness. I understand the urge to surrender. I understand getting up every day wondering how on earth I’ll find my way through the pain today. And, yes, every once in awhile I give in. I lay in bed and wallow in it. But I. will. not. let. it. win.
Will I find an agent? Maybe. Will my stories be published? Could happen. I’m doing my best every day to make that dream come true.
But, agents and publishing aside, and whatever the pain (physical or metaphysical) is, there is still just this one goal: the story needs to be told.
2 thoughts on “The Goal”
Well expressed. Writing is something we do because we love it, and have a story that just has to be told. I share your ambition to be traditionally published. I have the first two books of my trilogy on Amazon as ebooks, and once I’ve finished Book 3 I intend to approach agents. So you see, Gifford, I can relate to your post. Until our ambitions are realised, all we can do is keep on writing and work hard to make it all happen. 🙂
So true! I’ve found that writing the story is so much easier than writing the query letters, synopsis and all of the other addenda. Right now querying is taking up most of my writing time, and I can’t wait to get back to the non-business end of writing!
Best of luck to you!