A lot of people always say how there is no such thing as an aspiring writer. Either you’re a writer, or you’re not. Yoda logic. And maybe that’s true, but you can be a writer and aspire to something—to be a New York Times Bestseller, to sign with a Big Six publishing house, to get a great agent, to publish with an indie publisher, to win an award for your book, to sell so-many books, to self-publish, to finish a novel, to finish ten novels, to meet Neil Gaiman, to write a character that readers fall in love with, to have your book turned into a movie, and so on so forth, etcetera. These are sometimes dreams, sometimes goals, and sometimes just what if I did such-and-such; wouldn’t that be cool?—much like winning the lottery or something.
I have several aspirations as a writer. Most are goals. Others are dreams. And maybe sometime in the future, those dreams will become goals. Some of these aspirations are big and general and in the distant future, and others are specific and not so far away. But I do believe that having something to work toward is a vital part of being a writer. If you never try to be better or achieve something more, you’ll remain stagnant. And I really hate being stagnant.
I think my biggest goal/aspiration/dream is to publish at least fifty books in my lifetime. Perfectly doable. Diana Wynne Jones did it, and to be honest, she’s the writer I aspire to be like. I want to write in several different genres—science fiction, steampunk, historical, traditional fantasy, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, maybe even paranormal romance if the mood strikes. I would very much like to see my book in a book store—which is where that traditional publication and bestseller status comes in. I would like to make a living off writing. That would be splendid. And what writer doesn’t want to see their book adapted into a movie or television show? Though, stipulation: neither Sam Raimi nor M. Night Shyamalan can have anything to do with it.
As for closer goals, I would like to publish one book a year, which I think is doable as long as I can get my act together. I want to finish the Chroniker City trilogy obviously. I want to rewrite my young adult fantasy The Wizard’s Heart sometime in the next year or two. And I would like to land a book contract within the next five years—Big Six preferably. My most immediate goal, however, is to fix the plot for The Guild Conspiracy. If I don’t do that, the above mentioned goals and dreams are pretty much null.
And that’s an important thing to remember when you start dreaming big and thinking of your future goals—you can’t forget your current goals. You reach those big goals one tiny step at a time, conquering lesser goals and moving on to the more daring. But it’s perfectly fine to lose yourself in daydreams of elite authordom, your name synonymous with the great writers of our time. Just remember to pinch yourself and return to reality so that you can lay the groundwork to get there.
What are your writerly aspirations? Your distant future goals? Your immediate goals?