The first Wednesday of each month, the Insecure Writers Support Group hosts a blog hop. A blog hop is accomplished through internet magic where links to our blogs end up congregated on one page. Each month a question or questions are generated to stimulate bloggers’ thoughts about the insecurities of writing. We bloggers can choose to answer the question(s) of the month or discuss other insecurities of writing.
Remember, the question is optional!
I need to convince myself I really believe how I define success for myself as a writer is what I’ll have achieved when I complete the journey I am currently making. I will be better served to define success to be what is at the end of the road I’m now travelling. If I define success for myself as a writer any other way, it likely will contribute to another detour from the path I’m on and I’ll end up off on some side trip I’ll regret.
In my most recent writing plan of attack I’ve implemented more consciously the practices I’ve picked up from several writing coaches. The practices are some I’d previously dismissed, believing I could somehow accomplish good writing without the discipline these practices encouraged. Up until recently I continually made the mistake of editing and re-editing every paragraph as I went along. I was aware the better practice would be to write a quick first draft and come back later to ruthlessly self edit. Even though I knew the better practice, I didn’t implement this one nor many of the others. The poor results have made it clear to me I had best get with the program.
I am choosing to define success for myself as a writer to be getting 100000 or so words of a first draft written. Following the discipline of not editing as I go, I will more likely get a whole story written. Once I have 100000 words I will probably edit out about 10000, but first I need to get the story fleshed out and not worry about fine tuning until the proper time. If I continue to use the approach I’d used so often in the past I’ll end up writing the same first chapter, or even first scene, over and over again and never get a whole story written.
It would also do well to define success for myself as a writer to be tied to results which are not dependent on anyone but me. I cannot control what other people think of what I write. If my experience of a sense of success as a writer depends on someone else, I have empowered someone else to influence my sense of self-worth. So I’ve decided my success as a writer is defined as 100000 words of a raw draft. Even if I am the only person who can stand reading it, I will consider it a success. It would be one of the biggest accomplishments I’ve ever completed.