I find myself re-canalizing (again) just what it is that I want from the world of writing. It seems like every time I turn around I have discovered that such-and-such venture is not as personally rewarding as I thought it would be, or that I've begun pigeonholing myself in projects that are making it difficult for me to move towards my dreams as a whole. My desires to write are like a river - except instead of finding the smoothest path towards the ocean and letting gravity do the rest I seem to continue finding myself trying to flow uphill and over mountain ranges.
I'm stubborn that way.
My current thought on the subject of writing can be summed up by answering a couple of questions that have been floating around my brain the last few days:
1)What do you want to BE when you "grow up" as a writer?
Just a year ago, I thought being published by a well-known company like Yahoo! would be enough to call myself a writer. And in some sense, it has. I can honestly say that I have been paid to write, and even go so far as to add that I have been paid consistently to write over the last year. But, as I have accomplished the ability and forum in which to start life as a paid freelance writer I have discovered something which I've mentioned (and back-burnered) all along: I want to publish novels.
2) Do you want to be a famous author, recognized the world over for your literary prowess?
I go back and forth on this one because fame is a fickle b!tch. If I'm being honest with myself, the true answer to this question is "no". I don't want to be famous, at least not in this lifetime. If people decide my work is genius after I have passed, then I don't mind having a legacy of work to leave behind. But all I really want is to be read enough to have folks show up for book signings at the local book store. I don't want the place to be packed - just enough readers to keep me busy during my allotted time to sign autographs and shake hands.
3) Do you want to earn a fortune from your writing?
This is another question that requires a delicate answer. No, I'm not looking to amass the fortune of J.K.Rowling (although if such good-luck should fall into my lap I certainly would figure out something to do with it). All I am looking for is to be read enough to make a mortgage payment and buy a few groceries. Maybe treat my husband to a vacation in an exotic place like North Dakota.
All of the thought that has been flitting between my ears during these last few days of reflection (which conveniently showed up with a chest cold / flu virus) has started me thinking that maybe I've been chasing waterfalls the wrong direction. Not to say that I haven't enjoyed arranging words about donating plasma and things to do during bachelorette parties, because I will probably go back to that when the odd topic of interest arises. But perhaps it's time to buckle down and do something about this book business.
Whether you're a writer or you are following some other passion in your life, how would you answer the questions above? Feel free to share your answers in the comments below. :)