My writing goals have evolved over the years. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a kid. In fourth grade, I won a contest for a story I’d written and I got to join a handful of other kids in the city I grew up in for a day-long symposium on writing.
When I first started writing seriously, and by that I mean writing regularly, attending classes and conferences, devouring books on craft and subscribing to Writer’s Digest, I dreamed of a book deal that would legitimize my dream, validate my pursuit.
That hasn’t happened. Yet. So I exist in this space, in good company with others who write regularly and passionately but remain unpublished, where I hesitate to talk too much about my writing, lest I subject myself to the glazed over look or worse, the eye rolls, that often follow the words, “I write. I’m working on a book.”
For now – I’m working to create a steady writing habit. I write daily, I create stories, I revise, I polish, and I try. But I don’t hang my hopes on the validation of publication. Sure, I would love to be published. I plan to send my work out to agents and maybe even small publishing houses, my short stories to magazines. But the end game for me, now, is to continue to work to perfect my craft. To create the best stories I can create. To enjoy the process. Realistically, I’ve realized, so much is out of my control. But the truth is this: I LOVE writing. I feel ALIVE when I write. Nothing feels real if I don’t write about it. I’ve kept a journal since I was eight. I’ve written stories since I could hold a pen and form words and phrases. I read voraciously and ponder the beauty and profound wisdom and compelling stories that so many great writers have created. I see the written word as an art form, an expression, that is an essential part of being human, and one that is an essential part of me. There was a hole in my life, those years I didn’t write enough.
To not write is, to me, to not fully live. To be writing again is to have awakened a core piece of my soul that was fitfully tossing and turning within me, grumbling to be heard. I’m listening to it now.