Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Big Writing Dreams

I'm going to visit a friend's student this morning, a young man who has Big Writing DreamsTM. Once upon a time, I had such aspirations.

Early on, way back in the summer of '07, I was going to be a Famous AuthorTM. My career as an author would be awesome and well-paying. When I started my first book, this is exactly how I felt. It didn't take long for the awesome/well-paying fantasies to give way to "please publish my short story pleeeeeease". I wanted my name in print, ANYWHERE. I didn't travel far down this road until I realized it wasn't about my name in print, but telling stories. Readers crawled from the proverbial woodwork and gave writing a purpose. My real goal surfaced: to tell the best story I could.

Sometimes this meant trying to crack tougher markets (Shimmer? What did I send them, eleventy-billion stories before an acceptance?). My stories improved. My writing improved. I learned how to make words do what I wanted.
Self-publishing via Kindle Digital Platform became a thing. And then money showed up. Fear crashed the party--real fear about Real Stuff (words feel more important when you capitalize them). I had a pile of published stories, a couple of novels with small presses, and "need" to make writing pay. Elliot was on the way, and I was scared sh*tless. Post-partum threatened. Writing needed to start paying, and paying big or I would have to stop. I made some bad choices and worked on some bad novels. I puked a bunch of garbage words all over KDP. I stopped writing to tell stories, but to make money. Love disappeared.

After more than a year of hiatus, I've started writing again. With all of my family/other commitments, I might be looking at a story a month--or maybe a couple of flash. But the love is there. The characters are speaking to me again. Words beg me to touch them.

What will I tell this anonymous student, the one with Big Writing DreamsTM? Know why you want to write. For me--when I loved writing--it was always about the story and the audience. Once upon a time, I could make words sing and dance and make love to the page, even if it was a dark and slightly dysfunctional love (most of my stuff WAS horror).

I know who I am as a writer, and it feels good. So good. 

7 comments:

James Everington said...

Welcome back :)

Jodi Lee (Morrighan) said...

You've been missed!

Aaron Polson said...

Thanks! I'm glad to be "back"--new and maybe not-so-improved, but back. ;)

Milo James Fowler said...

Looking forward to reading the new stuff, Aaron. (But I liked the old stuff, too.)

Tyhitia Green said...

I think all of us have taken breaks from the Internet. Glad you're back.

And it's good to hear you're writing for the love again. :-)

Cate Gardner said...

Fantastic news. I've missed your stories.

Aaron Polson said...

Cheers, Cate. I've missed being "here".