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OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question: What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

 

Once upon a time my ultimate writing goal was to be traditionally published through one of the great six (now great five – imagine the time and changes that have passed!) and be a household name with my books turned into movies (then series became more popular, so that).

Once upon a time I had no idea how the publishing industry really worked and believed the fairytales of overnight successes and world domination.

Once upon a time I believed in the fantasy of writing in isolation, presenting my brilliance to adoring fans just waiting for me to finish each book so they can drown me in awards, awe and cash.

Once upon a time writing was just for fun.

Once upon a time sending out queries and receiving rejections in six-week cycles, fixing what was proposed and hoping for the best was part of the norm.

Then came the obsession of building an author platform, because that is what has to be done if you want to get an agent and sell books. It turned into a vicious cycle of churning out content and gaining attention. Burn-out ensued. Wanting to quit the whole thing became the new six-week cycle of anxiety. I won competitions and awards, but it felt empty.

The dream still lingered, though, to get my writing in front of adoring fans.

Then the realisation came: I was talking about getting published, but not doing much about it (except what was clearly not working).

I focused on anthologies, wrote stories for their themes and got a few acceptations and got published.

I entered a short story collection into a publishing competition – self-publishing, something I hadn’t seriously considered – and won.

My knowledge about the publishing industry grew, as did my knowledge about being an indie publisher (so much nicer sounding than self-publisher).

I published my winning book in English. I did a book tour/book launch/book blog tour – whatever you want to call it – to get the word out. I got neat stats on various Amazon stores (though, I hear that could’ve been a lot better – my book is selling, which is great, so I’m not worrying about stats right now).

I have great reviews on Goodreads for my published works. I have fans who’ve told me in person how much my book moved them.

So now… my ultimate writing goal has shifted. Writing is fun again. Writing what I like to write instead of what I think I should write makes me more productive. I’ve taken control of my destiny. I’ve chosen myself. And I’ve actually received royalties for my effort.

What about you? Have your goals changed?

Oh, I joined Instagram yesterday. Can’t figure out how to post pictures from my PC, though. Once I have data on my smartphone again, I’ll try that. In the meanwhile, here’s my Instagram profile link. Either follow me there or leave your link in the comments – I’d love to connect on this new (to me) platform.

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