Funny thing about being an author. People make some assumptions right away. They will reach one of these three conclusions about you with little evidence to support any of these arguments.
- You are a millionaire recluse who hangs out with other luminaries in a secret cave beneath your mansion (or maybe that’s Batman)
- You sit in your mother’s basement, screaming at her to bring you a PB&J while criticizing the fact that she didn’t cut the crust off of the bread and it stifled your creativity. Now you are forced to regain said creativity by playing Call of Duty for thirty-six consecutive hours.
- You say you’re an author, but it is really just a cute hobby and you will never really amount to anything.
- BTW, this last one, you can tell these people because they will often say things to you like, “So, how’s the book coming?” They say this because they assume it is something you have been working on for years and will never finish. These are also the people who generally don’t take time to hear anything you say.
The reality is that all authors have goals for their writing career and they vary from one author to the next.
Fun Fact: Every time I sit down to dine with other authors, I have a massive impostor complex. I start fidgeting and sweating a little as I realize I am surrounded by greatness and I can’t help but feel like I don’t belong.
I was at a convention recently and there was a guy who came up to me and told me he was excited to meet me and said he was impressed by my work. I had to look around me to make sure someone wasn’t standing behind me.
That interaction got me to thinking that while we all want to be the headliners at a book show, there really is ever only one headliner and the rest of the tables have to get filled by someone. No matter where you are in your writing career, or what table you occupy, you may be someone else’s headliner whether you know it or not.
I hate looking at the world that way. I want to hide in my corner and stare in awe at the likes of other writers who have a good following and show up to shows and literally run out of ink in their pen they use for signing books because they have that many autographs to sign.
I remember what it was like being the new writer who stared in awe at the authors sitting at their tables, selling their books and talking to customers about their work. Today, I am the one sitting at the table and I hope to never forget there is a writer in the corner of the room, staring at me, longing to be where I am at. Most of all, I am constantly reminding myself to always contribute to the community of writers.
This brings me to my goals. What are my writing goals? I have a friend who is an amazing writer. When he gets shipments from his publisher, the publisher’s name is one we all know. I am honored to call him a friend. We all want to be there, but I am just not ready yet. I’ll get there by writing word after word, but I am not there yet. And that is just fine with me.
Right now I am comfortable with going to shows, meeting customers, and talking about my work. No, I am not burning up the Amazon charts, but I am okay with that. For today, I am content with working every day toward my goal of becoming a full-time writer. It might be that it is a retirement job for me. And if it is, then fine. I am okay with that too.
What are your goals? No matter what they are, I’d like to hear them as a source of inspiration! Send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post them below!