I've been away from the blog again. No angst this time, I've just been busy pursuing a new venture.
It's not a venture I'm ready to share much about just yet, but suffice it to say, it's something I've never done before and there is a good chance I will fail at it. (Statistically speaking.)
This chance of failure got me to thinking about when I was starting out as a writer, penning my very first short stories for a micro-press under another pen name, learning my craft, and dreaming about what my writer-ly future might hold.
One day, on the discussion board of said micro-press, someone started a post about goals and I jumped at the chance to join in. It's always nice to share goals. It makes them seem more like something you're working for, not simply dreaming about. It also makes you (or me, at least) work even harder to achieve the goal, once it's out in the open like that.
As I said, I was a SUPER newbie and quite naive about the publishing industry, but I was still a realist and not one to set grandiose goals. I didn't say I wanted to be a bestseller or critically acclaimed or published all over the world, or anything like that. No, in my post, I just stated that I would like to publish at least two full length novels by the time I was 30 (I was 26 at the time), and that I would like one of them to be with a traditional, New York publisher.
Now, unbeknownst to me, this board was filled with writers who had been trying to land a contract with a NY pub for years and years, and many of them had strong reactions to my newbie writer dreams. Some gently encouraged me to let go of that goal, or risk making myself miserable. Others condescendingly shared the statistics that proved how nearly-impossible it was to have a book traditionally published. And still others flat out told me it was never going to happen.
I still remember that reply. That's all it was, a post that said: "Never going to happen." As if my goal wasn't even worth a complete sentence it was so dumb, dumb, dumb.
I think about that post sometimes--not the person who wrote it, because I honestly can't remember his or her name. (I don't like to give haters the honor of remembering them if I can help it.) No, I just think about that flat out denial of my chances and how wrong that prophecy turned out to be, and it helps give me the courage to try to new things, to keep going when I see signs pointing toward possible doom.
Possible doom isn't certain doom, after all, and I'd rather risk doom than believe statistics or someone else's opinion is worth more serious consideration than my work ethic or determination or dedication to improving my craft. And besides, luck could end up being on your side! As long as you enjoy the process and get to float up on that writer/dreamer high now and then, you aren't going to make yourself miserable, you're going to give your dreams a better chance of coming true.
Haters are going to hate, there's no stopping them, but those negative voices telling you that you will never achieve your goals are not predicting your future. Those voices are just voices and you CAN prove them wrong.
Go! Fight! Win! ARGH! (I may have been a cheer leading pirate in a former life.)
Have a Wednesday,