It is part of having a career (or working towards one) that requires goals. Goals are such nice things when your starting out because they are undeniably possible and you get a giddy feeling, thinking of how soon you can have that done.
Personally, I love goals. I love making them, I love the sound of them, I love how much I make them. However, like most people, I don’t like having to achive them.
One of my most recently made goals was to finish the first part of my story (about 220 pages) by the end of October, a perfectly makeable goal, and while I’m working well there is still the fact that I wont make it, unless I write ten pages a day, which with school and homework is dobtful to happen. I may get close, but in the end I will be at least 30 pages off.*
It is a sad feeling, to realize you aren’ tgoing to reach a goal, and it makes you discouraged as you write.
Have I said how much I love endings? I mean, I didn’t really enjoy it when it got there, but right now, with a deadline looming over my head (a self-made one of course) I am so scared I won’t be able to finish.
I feel like I have forever.
The thing about writing is you have to write endings too. Personally, if I could, I would write the beginning, little snippets here and there and let the rest fill itself in, but I can’t and so I’m stuck here trying to figure out what to do.
Personally, I don’t plan ahead because I like that mystery of the character’s leading me where they want to go, but recently I read Marion Daube’s On Writing, and was severly dissapointed with how horribly close she was to squashing my dreams, becuase in there, she wrote abotu how getting published was a one-in-a-million, and making a living off of writing rarely happened, and talked about how we shouldn’t aim too high.
I can tell you right now that I will never be reading any of her books again.
But back to editing, besides her glorious moment of makign everyone feel depressed about themselves, she also wrote about how you had to plan ahead, and how rarely do writers finish without that.
I can think of one, very sucsessful, very published author who never plans ahead (or at least doesn’t know the ending).
AND THAT’S ALL RIGHT!
Writing is about writing what you love and learning from it and, in the end, being happy with it, it is not about following every rule one writer uses with their writing, and that was what made me not like the book the most. If it hadn’t been for those parts, I may have loved it, but Marion Daube wrote a book that was selfish and stuck-up and had no soul.
At least three months ago I read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, and in their she told me everything that she had learned in her writing, and that is a good book on writing, it is the reason why it is one of the most well suggested of self-help writing books.
When writing, just remember:
*I actually wrote most of this post a while ago, and I am going to make the goal