Lest we forget that this is a writing blog:
I wrote over 1,200 words today, not including this blog post, and not including the paper I'm about to edit for my girlfriend. It was fiction that I wrote. I enjoyed it very much.
Today is the first day this month that I've written anything, and in June, the writing was sporadic at best. In my experience, when I feel fulfilled in other areas of my life, I write less, and even develop writer's block, because satisfaction is a poor motivator. When I'm dissatisfied, hurt, wanting, the writing is incredible. I spent the last couple of weeks in an emotional slump, so hopefully the writing will be picking up, but I won't hold my breath.
I'm at a stage right now where I don't need writing like I did 6 months ago, when I was working 8 hours a day on my novel. I've made my priorities elsewhere, have found satisfaction in other things than the written word. I can't say it's what I wanted. Last November I wanted to stick to this incarnation of my writing career. I wanted to push past the boundaries, the limits that have always held me back.
I have gone through several phases through the years, none of them materially successful, but all rewarding in their own way. I edited a couple of e-zines, made one into a paying market. I had a semi-successful anxiety blog that is still out there, hopefully helping someone somewhere. I've written several unfinished novels, many short stories, tried my hand at writing internet articles (I absolutely hate doing that).
I don't know what it is about me. When I'm on I'm on fire. I'm the most motivated man in the world. When I'm off, nothing turns me back on.
Am I too goal-oriented?
Success in writing comes slowly. It comes to those who stick to their guns, but slowly, and it's rarely ever (almost never) the superstar success non-writers imagine it to be. If you write for the end, you're going to be in for disappointment. If you write for fun, putting blinders on so you don't pay attention to the material success that may come, not only will writing be incredibly rewarding emotionally, but the money to be made may make for a nice surprise.
So I'm going to regroup. I hid most of my current projects in a folder, and have just two things on my desktop that I want to work on. They're two short stories I am passionate about, but haven't approached because I've been writing other things, things farther from being finished. I want to get work out there. I want to get more stories published. That is my main “professional” goal. But short of that, I want to have fun. That means I must write what I feel like writing; finding the path of least resistance while still challenging myself.
Now I want to shine a light on something a friend of mine is doing. Shen Hart is working hard to bring together writers. The dream is simple: we will help one another.
We will help each other edit and market and do all the little things that writers need to do to find material success (and we deserve it, too!). Some of us are much better at certain skills than at others, and that holds us back in certain ways. Combining our efforts may help some of us break out.
I'm incredibly proud of Shen for doing this. It's something I've tried in the past and have given up on because I lacked her passion and I lacked the community that is Google+.
If you're interested in joining Literary+, I hope you will take the time to speak with Shen. Find out what we're up to, how we can help you and how can you help us.
Many writers are at different stages of our careers, with different talents and different needs. But each of us may fit in somewhere, benefiting from the community effort.