I find it quite interesting the number of blogs I’ve read over the past few weeks that all follow the same dreary rhetoric. They evaluate 2015 as a glowing productive year and then advance positive, enthusiastic, and almost miraculous plans for success in 2016. Unique strategies, mystical revelations, and foolproof tactics of every shape and description, are detailed and usually stop just short of guaranteeing a successful 2016 writing year.
The promotional methods and anecdotal wisdom to ensure literary success are without bounds. I even read one that expounded on the benefits of collecting numerous rejections. The theory being that if you get enough (their target was 100 per year), it doesn’t bother you anymore. I could be wrong, but I would thing that many rejections should be giving you a sense that maybe writing isn’t your best career choice.
I guess this is my New Year’s blog. Be assured I am not going to rehash 2015. Nor am I going to tell you what great ideas I’ve come up with to make myself into an overnight success in 2016. There aren’t any to talk about.
I love to write. I intend to continue to plod along as I have in the past. I know there are no gimmicks or schemes out there that can guarantee success. I also know that what works for one writer, will not work for every writer. We all want the same thing, but I don’t want to waste my time trying to short-cut my path to successful writing, when I could be actually writing.
Like every serious writer out there, I want my writing to matter. To do that, I have to learn the techniques needed to write better, more compelling, and interesting stories. I have to nurture my imagination until I see stories everywhere—every person, every setting, every dream.
I need to work my butt off and wear out keyboards (I’m on my third) writing, editing, re-writing and re-editing. I already send everything out to readers I can trust to be honest with me. Most of all I have to be honest with myself, and make sure everything I write is the absolute best it can be. Only when I’m happy with the work, do I query the agents/publishers I want to deal with.
It’s not easy – it’s hard work. I could share my schedule and methods, but they’re not the magic solution or quick fix that so many writers are trying to find. It may be hard to imagine, but for me writing is not a quest with a prize at the end.
To me writing is a lifestyle, a business, a journey that continues indefinitely. I enjoy every step of my passage through literary time—the writing, the reading, the camaraderie with other writers and readers. I don’t fear rejection, nor do I celebrate every small victory. The small accomplishments along the way make me want to keep writing—keep going. I’m not sure if there really is an actual destination.
I wish everyone not just a Happy New Year, but also bliss-filled days, inspired nights, great friends, good health, and lots of laughter. May each of you find a moment of true joy in 2016—that will make your personal year successful.
As for your writing year – just keep writing…