Other Cool Blogs: Magical Words April 11, 2011

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Starry-eyed teens in love with writing, new writers with a nearly finished manuscript at home, and people flashing and shorting their way to their first anthology all have something in common. They need to define when they succeed.

Writing is a tough business. Most success is measured in money. By that measure, few writers ever succeed.

David B. Coe, who by most writers’ measurements is successful, touched on this topic in More on Success and Rejection during a 2011 Magical Words posting.

When I talk to people interested in writing, I tell them to define their success now. Record it.

Otherwise when moving up in the publishing world they will continue to compare success to the level (or levels) above where they are, never seeing the success of the journey they made. The object of recording a first level of success is celebrating when reaching it, then setting another one – like graduation from high school then moving on to a first job or college.

Success in the writing world for a beginner isn’t about huge stacks of cash or being a best seller on the New York Times list. That is like telling a T-baller to shoot for the Hall of Fame, ignoring the millions of other T-ballers and the hundreds of other success levels between. If you only care about the fame and fortune, find a different aspiration. 

What goals would be a good first success? It depends on the person. For some, the writing goal is to complete a story, others is acceptance by a publishing company – any company, others it is having a real book with their name on the spine, others it is selling one book to someone else, and still others having a book signing is when they feel the success. Once a goal is clearly defined, choosing a path between self-published and traditional becomes clearer, or whether publication is needed at all.

Remember other people’s goals and success is not yours. For someone, they may want to make a living to be successful, but that might not be you. Getting a single book completely written, sold, edited, and published is pretty awesome.

Don’t be afraid to aim low. Taking a step on a staircase isn’t self-defeating – trying to jump up to the third story in one leap is.

Figure out what your goal is.

I’ve posted some of mine over the years. Starting a blog. Completing a self-published book. Setting up a website. Being a guest at a convention. Getting published by someone else. Participating in an anthology. Each goal isn’t big, but I have reached them. Future goals include getting more books published, getting into more anthologies, and editing a best-seller. 

WRITING EXERCISE: Create one simple goal to reach for this year. Does it depend on stuff entirely under your control or do others have an impact on it? Example: submitting to five anthologies is under your control, being accepted by one isn’t. Although, one (being accepted by an anthology) isn’t going to happen without the submission. Define your simple goal with activities entirely under your control; you can add a bonus for results requiring responses of others to your activities.

Blog: New Year 2017

Gone Writing

Image stolen randomly from the web

A new year, 2017 … Time to set up a new set of goals.

2016 (Last year’s) goals:
1. Restart the blog — Met!
2. Start a newsletter — Done!
3. Start a website — Oh, yeah!
4. Get a new self-published novel (or two) out. – well, maybe not

Bonus actions

5. Self-publish two flirts – not
6. Attend a convention as a panelist – COMPLETED!
7. Submitted to two anthologies (ended up being four and got accepted once)

Wow, that is going to be a hard set of resolutions to follow. You know I would be plenty happy just to pull that off again.

2017 Goals

Completely under my power

  1. Continue the blog with three posts a week (unless get feedback to cut back)
  2. Continue the website (… I am going to dump the newsletter, too much extra work)
  3. Publish (either by company or by self) a novel and two flirt
  4. Submit to three anthologies.

Depends on other people for some results

  1. Be a panelists at a convention again.

What do you think? Is this a good set of goals? Should I change anything?

Blog: New Year 2016

Image acquired from Internet Hive Mind

A new year, 2016!

Time to write again. Life grabbed me and beat me soundly about the head the past couple of years, but I am coming back.

This year’s goals:
1. Restart the blog
2. Start a newsletter
3. Start a website
4. Get a new self-published novel (or two) out.

Basically kick my writing back into gear.

To that end, the blog is going to undergo a severe facelift. Some things, such as the cross-reference of stories and characters, will be moved to the website. Everything else is going to be burned to the ground and restarted.

The new production schedule shall be:
1. Sunday – A flash story  (initially about half will be repeats)
2. Tuesday – Book Reviews, Author Spotlights, Writing Exercises, maybe an editing rant or two, and every so often a little look at my calligraphy and embroidery … because it is pretty
3. Thursday – Links to other people blogging about writing..

Hope you like the new Erin Penn’s First Base. (Feedback appreciated on what works and what doesn’t.)