“It is good to have an end to journey toward,
but it is the journey that matters in the end.”
Ursula le Guin
You may remember such experiments at the beginning of the year where we asked everyone to share a little about themselves to seek out and link up with fellow writers with similar interests or the in depth look at the literature community on deviantART, well this is the next article in that series! We're going back to you as individuals, but asking you not to consider yourself as the person on deviantART for x hours each week, but to look at yourself as the writer, your journey so far and where your future goals really lie. This isn't just about "I want to get published", but mapping out how you are going to get to those end goals and starting to take a more realistic view of your work.
You might be someone who is actually confident you have a planned journey ahead and you know what your end goals are- be it publishing, pleasure, wanting a DD or even writing daily. You might be the complete opposite where you haven't really thought about this- something we are going to get you to think about today.
A lot of people join deviantART looking for something to help them with their journey. Most, if not all want some kind of feedback- some to know whether their work is liked by others and others to see how they can improve. Others use it as a showcase of their work, or to network with other writers, or to find a solution to the "block". There is no right or wrong intention (though sometimes the execution doesn't always work).
Your Journey So Far...
We all know what we've done- what we've learnt and achieved to be the writer we consider ourselves today. Most of us can remember the first time we took interest in writing and what encouraged us to continue. Without over-sharing, have a think about now about those key moments that mapped your path as a writer- what were they and how did they affect and change the way not only write, but plan and operate too. What was it about those moments that created an impact?
Your Current Crossroads...
We're all at a point in this metaphorical writers journey and whatever point this is, there's decisions and commitments to be made. However these are the point where there may be unsurity, a lack of knowledge or a lost sense of direction. What can we do to get back on this perhaps is somewhere you need help, which is why the community around you is actually an essential resource. You may be more optimistic about your crossroad, and the decision may be about your career or what to write next.
There is a difference between a realistic life goal and a dream. To get to your goal you have to work hard and commit to it, whereas dreams are the desires we have but no clear goals in place to achieve those dreams. How many of you have said you would like to get published "one day"- have you considered what published actually means? Do you dream of your book sat top of the best-seller lists or would you be happy if a book sold even one copy? When you dream of people liking your work, what are you committing to make that happen?
You are accountable for your own goals. You won't achieve anything with excuses and pessimistic statements such as "I will never get there", because the person holding you back is you. If you need help, don't be afraid to ask, but understand what you are asking and think what you could do before you ask (hello google!). It doesn't matter where you are on your journey, you control the crossroads and where they are going.
Without sounding too hippy; you need to empower yourself!
Questions for you about your own journey
Please have a think about the above and I'd would like for you to share your thoughts in the comments as well as answering the below:
What is your dream as a writer?
Where do you realistically want to be as a writer?
How do you plan to get to those goals?
What do you need to meet those plans?
What help or advise would you like?
Lets get tough!
Like all of the "experimental" articles, I want to encourage you all to respond to each other as much as possible.
I don't just want you to answer the questions or needs for help, but I want you to challenge people. It's time to stretch people beyond their statements and make them think beyond what they're writing here. Ask them more questions, be curious about what they are saying and push them to make more concrete plans that can help them meet those realistic goals. Keep the dialogue going.
And to those looking for that help, don't just comment on your own plans, look at the other comments people are making and challenge them to. Its doesn't matter where you are on your own journey or where those people are, this is a community of mixed people- you could even learn from those you talk to!
Thank you and enjoy!
If you can share this in your groups and journals, we would love the word spread- the more we can share this, the more people get involved!