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What do you want from your writing? Make that your definition of success

For years, as a writer, I have been lost in a jungle of my own making – thoughts that juggled a hundred ideas but took me nowhere, among other things. 

In January 2014, I told myself firmly, “That won’t do. You will sit down and write.” The moment I became firm, I began to write. Not at the pace that I want to. Still, I can honestly say that a majority of the stumbling blocks have been overcome.

Then I read this thought provoking post by Jane Friedman who argues that one must answer this question to grow as a writer: “Do you know what you want from your writing?”

Jane Friedman cites broad and general examples that enthusiastic writers tend to cite. “Fame,” “Livelihood” and “I want to be heard” are among them. I began to feel dejected. These are not my reasons. Does that make a non-serious writer? Maybe I should just write instead of getting into a philosophical rut about why I want to write in the first place.

But let me not jump the gun. We are talking about THE Jane Friedman here and you simply can’t take her words lightly! So, lets go back to it, shall we? You can also follow Jane Friedman on Twitter. 

Then she makes some pertinent points for us to consider: [Please note that the following are points that Jane Friedman has cited in the article highlighted above. You can read all her writings on Jane Friedman's website here]

1. Imagine what it would be like if you achieved your goal.
Often, the very fact that you can do this easily, or the trouble you find with such visualization, can be a clue as to whether or not this is actually what you want.

2. Difficulty in visualizing what life would be like if you achieved your goal may mean that goal is still a little too general.

3. You should have a single, specific thing, the thing you really want from your writing, the thing for the sake of which you want everything else.

4.  Express that goal in a single sentence. 

5. Remember: It’s the single most important sentence you will ever write. It is your crie de coeur, your battle cry. It will sustain you and provide a compass for your entire writing journey.

6. This is your definition of success, the only definition that matters to you from this moment on.

Now after reading this, I sit down to answer this question. I realize that it isn't as easy as it sounds. There are lots of reasons why I want to write. For example: Stories to share, Secrets to reveal, Dreams to unveil, Learning to let go by writing in words. 

The more I think about it, I ask myself: does any of this define why I want to really write? Nope. I need to figure it out. Boil and simmer it down to one sentence. The sentence that can chart my journey ahead as a writer. Get off to a good start.

Yet this is a question I haven’t thought about seriously. But now I feel the need to do it and to find my battle cry. 

See it this way. As a writer, I am now focused on my own way to define my success.

Will you join me and share what your definition of success is? Waiting to hear from you.   

♥♥  I thank you with all my heart for reading this post. Please Share this article on your favorite social networks. Every share, like or tweet makes me reach out to more people in a positive way. I am grateful and I appreciate you for doing so. ♥♥



Vishnu said…
This is a provocative question, Swapna. It is easy yet so complex. i tried to click on her blog but seems to be down on the moment. So I don't know how others have responded and what they've said.

I want my writing to give me hope, inspiration and remind me to persist. So, I would assume that's the same reason I write for others? I hope I've done the exercise right but hoping to catch her blog when it does go back live.

I can see how picking one goal will help keep us more focused and on track. I think one way to realize the purpose of our writing it to look through all of our writing and pick out the common thread or message. In the writing is the answer:)
jk said…
NGDCs .. Sometimes just for some fun while alive with Minimum Result Orientation can be an answer to many questions .. By the way why are you not seen in FB now a days .. ?? ..

Dear Vishnu,

As always, it's a learning experience when you share your insights on any topic.

Regarding Jane Friedman's blog, I checked and it seemed to be working. Could it be a browser related issue perhaps? Hope you are able to read her post soon.

The point you mentioned 'Look through all of our writing and pick out the common thread or message' has been a wonderful compass for me. I have already started doing that, thanks to you.

Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts here. Truly appreciate and value it.

@JK - Not sure what that means....but thanks for dropping by. Cheers.
jk said…
NGDCs .. sometimes writing 4 fun with some minimum result orientation can be interesting to think about ..

Fun if Goal is achieved, minimum result orientation takes away the need to visualize about achievements .. Fun with minimum result orientation (like a KarmaYogi after fun if some jargon is preferred) seems to take care 3,4,5,6 quests too probably ..

My internet connection often comes and goes, your FaceBook profile is not seen for many days now .. It could even be an FB prank .. I just cross - checked whether you deleted or hid the profile .. Many times FB plays such pranks with me hiding the profiles of others .. IDK if there are some fake messages too been sent .. As today I observed some hacker even doing some corrections with one of my doc (rtf) files even in my computer's hard disk too .. With many such incidents happening I consider my computer a Public thing now a days and do not care much about privacy in it with these overwhelming hackers .. just wanted 2 cross check with you whether hiding your FB profile also a Hacker Activity or not .. :) .. I was looking for you for an advise with Public Internet Statement of my Will too .. and was thinking about preparing something like that registering .. but then your profile is not seen in FB .. That made me suspicious about the hacker activity in my profile and computer blocking an Advocate like you .. just tried a long explanation with a serious exclamation that I happened 2 c in ur lines ..


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