?

What are your ultimate writing goals / dreams?

Poll closed Mar 19, 2011.
  1. Private writer

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Personal writer

    2 vote(s)
    3.5%
  3. Community writer

    1 vote(s)
    1.8%
  4. Casual writer

    5 vote(s)
    8.8%
  5. Semi-pro writer

    7 vote(s)
    12.3%
  6. Pro writer

    18 vote(s)
    31.6%
  7. Award-winning writer

    15 vote(s)
    26.3%
  8. I have no idea

    9 vote(s)
    15.8%
  1. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    Is Writing a Hobby, or Something More?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by HeinleinFan, Dec 19, 2010.

    I'm posting this poll because I was curious. As a community, we have writers ranging from published authors to newbies, and people who would like to do this professionally alongside folks who write in private, for themselves, with no intention of ever submitting their work to an editor -- or, in some cases, with no intention of showing anyone else, ever.

    So, if you're interested, tell us where you'd like to go with your writing. What are your ultimate writing goals, as of right now? (If you had different plans before and have changed them for whatever reason, put the most current version in the poll.)

    Rough categories: Private writing (not for anyone else to read), Personal writing (shared with friends and family, not for publication), Community writing (letters and essays in newspapers or newsletters), Casual writing for publication (you'd like to be published now and then, but it's no big deal), Semi-pro (you'd like to have a non-writing career and be published regularly on the side), Pro writer (you'd like to write full-time and make most of your income from your work), Award-winning writer (you'd like to make the bestseller list or win some serious recognition within your genre).

    For example, a University Professor would be a "Semi-pro" because they're both teaching and publishing their findings. Someone who writes editorials for the paper would do "Community writing." Someone who wants to make it big would be "Pro writer" or "Award-winning writer."
     
  2. Barry G
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    Barry G Senior Member

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    Quite a question and one which I have been asking myself.
    There again some people do crossword puzzles others Sudoko.

    In the case of writing I don't think you can categorize in the way you do. For many of us it is not a question of what we would like to do, it is more to do with what we are capable of doing - even whether we can break into the world of publishing.

    I can liken it to another hobby of mine - horse riding. I would love to be able to ride my mare in the same way as can a young woman whom I have met and who now looks after her. The fact that I was riding horses before the woman was born has nothing to do with the issue. I have not the ability to ride and to train a horse in the modern way of dressage - I'd like to - perhaps - but I know I can't and what is more will not try.

    Similarly I'd like to write a book which folks will pay to read but I do wonder if I have the ability not only to write the book but to thrust my way through the route to publication. And it is this issue which I think has brought us to the theory behind the vanity press industry.

    I can write as an amateur but could I write as a professional?
    Sadly at the age of 72 I do not think I have the time to find out.
     
  3. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would love to be able to live off of my writing, but I need to get over the fear of letting others see what I've written....

    Writing and reading is such a big part of my life and who I am, that I can't really call it a hobby. I think I'd go insane if I didn't write.
     
  4. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, it's not really only 'your choice' in the end.

    But let's say I could choose, then semi-pro would probably be the option that would make me the happiest.
     
  5. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    The desire to write is for myself, but the motivation comes from being known around town as a writer, and presenting at open-mic events.

    I've tossed around the idea of self-publishing chap books for trunk sales, but have relatively little desire to go pro. Sure, if it fell into my lap I would in a heartbeat, but I'm having too much fun with life to put the time and energy into going pro.

    -Frank
     
  6. jo spumoni
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    jo spumoni Active Member

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    Interesting question for me, anyway. I'm studying archaeology as an undergraduate, which means my career choice is basically either work for the government with Cultural Resource Management or get a job in academia as a professor (after some serious grad school)--provided I stick with it, of course. Either way, I will be writing reports and/or books about my research, so I'll fit your description as a "semi-pro." But I plan to doubly fit your description as a semi-pro, because I also want to write fiction and get that published! Hm, maybe I'll write archaeological fiction?
     
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'd love to be able to earn my living writing fiction. I find the job I have is very unsatisfying.
     
  8. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have no idea where I am going with this. In some ways I have acheived my goal - I have produced a novel. I am writing more. I have people that enjoy reading my work. I am trying to get my first story published - however realised when I got my first rejection I wasn't that upset. My work entertains people and has a small fanbase.

    If I could have my dream then would love to write a script for Dr Who but not expecting it to happen either.
     
  9. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I've already missed the boat on making writing my career, mostly because I didn't have the confidence to pursue it aggressively when I was young. On the other hand, when I retire in a few years, I plan on putting a great deal of effort into getting one (or more) of my novels published.
     
  10. Jonalexher
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    Jonalexher Contributing Member

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    I would love to become a best-seller haha, but first I have to be semi-pro.
     
  11. MetalRenard
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    MetalRenard Member

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    I put semi-pro because my music writing has a bigger place in my life than my story writing :)
     
  12. izanobu
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    izanobu Senior Member

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    My goal is pro. And let me tell you, those checks that show up in the mail are pretty awesome :)
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i've been a 'pro writer' for many years, so i guess all i'd like to be beyond that is a 'well-read' one!

    awards would be nice not for the money, but for the increased readership that would result, since i write to enlighten the readers, not to make a living [i give away all i write, with no strings attached]...
     
  14. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    "Something more" for sure. I've been writing since I was literally 2 or 3 -- I'd get a bunch of sheets of paper and fold them down the middle and staple bindings, like a book, then I'd scribble with marker about a cat who went around collecting magic wands...lol.

    My job now involves writing, and I breeze through letters/papers/articles/etc. It's always just felt really natural to me.

    Not trying to brag -- there are plenty of things I suck at, sports for example.

    Although, it is hard to finish a novel. I've written tons of short stories and started tons of novels, but finishing one...yeah not so much...although, I'm working on a YA/chapter book with a more linear plot and I can see the end in sight (maybe 6K left?)

    I'd love to finish it soon and get published as a novelist in the next year or two. That'd be awesome.

    And I really do want to finish a novel...I think my problem is short attention span...it's easy to spin up something new but hard to finish it.
     
  15. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    Thanks, everyone! It's been very cool to see what people's plans, are -- and, in some cases, to know about those who've already met with success.

    I hope to one day make a living from my work. I'm not there yet, or even close; first I need to kick my butt into gear and spend more hours writing. But hour for hour, writing is one of the most satisfying, scary, wonderful things I've ever done, and I've already made a small amount of money at it. I figure, well, that's not bad at all for someone in their twenties.

    My dream would be to have several books out there, selling consistently if not well. Not enough to get rich on, necessarily, but enough so I could live comfortably in a low-cost-of-living area.
     
  16. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    I guess I am a semi-pro because I have a full time job (non-writing) and couple of my short stories were published. I think I want to be a pro, but I have selected "I have no idea" because I still don't believe I have the time and the ability to become pro. I'll have a clearer idea after one or two years. One thing I am very sure is that writing is my passion and I'll keep writing.
     
  17. Sean2112bd
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    Sean2112bd Member

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    I want to be a pro-writer and if possible an award winning author, but you can be an award winning author and not be a pro-writer which is why writing well is more important than being well-renowned.
     
  18. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    Yes, don't be afraid of what others think of you or your work. Some people are gonna like it, some people are gonna hate it. It doesn't change who you are.
     
  19. Edward G
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    Edward G Banned

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    I think my avatar pretty much says it all. I mean, honestly, I'm way too arrogant to be satisfied with merely being published, or even making money being published.

    What I want is to be an award winning writer (Believe me, I want that way more than some ridiculous rip-off writing contract with Simon and Schuster.). I want to ultimately amass a huge financial prize for the Gordon Composition Gothic Novel Awards (I want that message on the phone that starts out: "Hi, this is Dean Koontz's agent. I was just wondering if you had a chance to review Dean's latest novel?"), and I want people lined up to get me to speak at their writers' confrences. Oh, and then I want to have a book on writing that's more famous than On Writing, by Stephen King. Essentially I want the big three to be me, Strunk and White, and Merriam-Webster.

    I don't think I'm not asking for a lot; I just want my piece of the pie--that's all--damn it.
     
  20. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm getting very tired of the daytime job, which consists more and more of writing worksheets, English tests, and grammar guides, and leaves me with very depleted time and energy for creative writing. Over the past year I've managed to sell a few stories and nearly finish a romance, though. Roll on early retirement option (two more years to go!) and last chance to try and be something resembling a 'pro'.
     
  21. Brayden Potter
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    Brayden Potter Member

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    I believe that writing is basically just a hobby, but it's what the writer does with it that turns it into something more.
     
  22. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've had short stories and poetry published in anthologies, and I've had a year's worth of articles published in the local paper, but these aren't things I'm particularly proud of. In fact, those books are hidden under my bed in my parent's house so no one else will find them. Whenever I see them I don't think, "It's great these were published!" but instead all I can see are the glaringly obvious mistakes everyone else seems to overlook. When it comes to writing I'm a perfectionist and I don't think these stories were nearly as good as they could have been.

    I don't write with the aim of being published. It would be nice, yes, if I could someday produce something I think is good enough to be in print but by no means am I going to set out specifically to do it. Wouldn't it just be frustrating to devote hours to something in hopes of seeing it immortalised in print only to later realise that it's in no way suitable for mass production? I decided to give up with worrying about what my reader might want to see when I decided there would be no reader - or, in other words, the reader is me. I write what I want to read rather than what could be good for the story. Fortunately, it's come to a point where these two things now overlap. But it's calming to know that I don't need to worry about angering or putting off any readers with any sudden twists or spiteful characters.

    However, this approach to writing is instead what has attracted people to my work. Two friends over in the USA and Australia have been sent the first ten thousand words of my current WIP (currently at 157k) and I've received good feedback despite the fact it's badly written. I'll worry about that in the redraft. It's nice to know that people like the characters and the ideas and are looking forward to reading more -- and it's even nice when I get emails from strangers following my blog saying that they look forward to reading my work when it's published -- but I don't really need this sort of incentive to write. I write because I have stories to tell and because I feel it's a productive pastime, not because I want others to tell me how much they love and want to buy my work. If they like it then it's a bonus - but my dream is to be an English language (not literature) teacher, not a writer.
     
  23. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm intrigued by those 11 'award-winning writer' votes...

    i'd love to know what 'awards' are being referred to...
     
  24. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    The original question was about goals, where you would like to be.

    Given as I have just entered a story into the British Writers Award (unpublished), guess that makes 12 now lol Not that I expect to win or anything - going with my dad's thing of you might not win if you do, you won't win if youd don't.

    Here is to hope and goals.
     
  25. Douglas Rumbaugh
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    Douglas Rumbaugh Member

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    I'm very much a casual writer with no intent whatsoever of getting published. I write because I enjoy it, and I do not want to threaten that love of writing in the interest of making a few dollars on the side. I'm currently working on a novel, and once I complete it I will post it on the internet for people to enjoy free of charge. The reward of completing a novel and improving as a writer are reward enough for me.
     

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