Mark Terry

Thursday, November 04, 2010

What it's all about

November 4, 2010
Most of our writing goals seem to be: get published.

Then, once that happens, get published, make enough money to make a living as a writer.

Then, (and yes, these are often simultaneous), get on a bestseller list, make more money, get a movie deal, etc.

A constantly receding horizon, this writing business, isn't it?

Which is all fine, I think, but I think what it's all about--what all arts are about for the artist--is to get better at it. "Better" is just about as difficult to define as "success" but I think there's a lot to be said about not settling. That the key, each time out, is to try to make the writing more efficient and effective, deeper, to dig for the heart of it all, to provide the reader a better, richer, more "whatever" experience.

But then again, it's possible the hokey-pokey is what it's all about.

Thoughts?

8 Comments:

Blogger Stephen Parrish said...

You know something? I'm going to write that post we talked about after all.

6:24 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Stephen,
I look forward to reading it.

6:29 AM  
Blogger Jeff Baerveldt said...

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. What do I ultimately want from writing? Or, why am I even bothering with it anyway?

What it's come down to, for me, is that I want to create, and I want to get better at what I create.

More specifically: I want to create something that moves people the way The Lord of the Rings, or The Stand, or Harry Potter, or Ender's Game, or The World According to Garp, or ... name that novel ... moved me.

I want to have the pride of creation. I want to be proud that I created something so ... transcendent ... though that's probably not the best word for it.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Natasha Fondren said...

Most days, I can't get past getting my word count in. Everything else seems to be a piece of cake. Writing fast enough is my biggest challenge. The improvement happens merely as a means to keep myself from getting bored with my job, LOL. I like playing with my words.

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My main goal is to improve, to manage to write something that I find satisfactory, which I have yet to do. I think that's a realistic goal, whereas monetary goals or bestsellerdom goals are just not realistic for me.

8:26 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Jeff--pride of creation itself is worthwhile, whether it's transcendent or not.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Natasha--how was the Great Wall of China built? One brick at a time.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Anomalous--(heh)--satisfying yourself can be tougher than it sounds.

10:02 AM  

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