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.