Monday, September 6, 2010

Five Years? Really?

My wife and I had one of those talks this weekend...where do you see yourself in five years/ten years, etc? These sort of questions were all the rage when I was younger and ambition possessed me, but now, in my mid-thirties with two kids chalked up to my fuselage (yes, that was a nod to the late, great John Updike), I just don't know.

In my "day job" I suspect I'll be teaching in another five years. Possibly ten. Maybe I'll have taken a post as a school guidance counselor by then (I have the license).

The real question, I suspect, is where will I be as a writer in five or ten years.


I don't have the foggiest. I keep plugging along, one story at a time, trying to work on my "craft", trying to churn out a better story each time I write. Sometimes it works; other times it doesn't. I haven't queried an agent about a novel for about a year. Yes, I have some books pending release into the wild and that's thrilling as hell.

But five years from now?

I couldn't have predicted what I'd be writing three years ago, let alone I'd still be writing. They were dark times, see, and I flirted with "literary" for a while. Flirted, and was shot down when I realized I didn't have the pedigree or patience. Now I tell stories no one believes could happen. (That's the trick, of course. Making the unbelievable salient enough to capture a reader.)

So five years from now?

Still writing, I hope. Still telling stories. I told my wife I feel successful if one person I don't know reads a story I've written. A small victory. A tiny one. But still a victory.

Here's to another thirty years of making sh*t up and telling other people about it.

What about you, dear readers? What's "the dream"?


Fox Lee said...

Get published in Japanese. *crosses fingers*

Katey said...

Yeah, there's just way too much timing (as in, right place at the right time) involved to really say where anyone will be in terms of writing, isn't there? I can say that I don't like to imagine you won't be writing, though. *shudder*

I mean, is that even possible? No!

Guidance counselor--see, that'd be cool too. I always wanted one that didn't suck, as a kid!

Anonymous said...

Just imagine how many cool stories you'll have out there in 5 years. How many readers and writers you'll inspire. How many students you'll impact. 5 years? May we live long enough to enjoy every minute of them.

Cate Gardner said...

I think you'd make a fantastic guidance counsellor (as long as you wouldn't have to give up teaching to do it - you have to keep inspiring those kids to read).

In five years, why I'll be skinny, mega famous and have a swimming pool. That's how this business works, right?

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Barry Napier said...

Sheesh, I'll just be happy to keep getting stuff published. And maybe, just maybe, Birdwatching from Mars will see the light of day by then...

Michael Stone said...

I'll keep on writing for as long as I'm enjoying it. It'd be nice to have a published novel to my name in five years, but I'll not weep if I don't.

Anonymous said...

My writer's group and I were just having this discussion! We sat around and brainstormed our five year plan for ourselves as individuals and also a group. (Best group ever, for real.) It was daunting. And scary and a little bit humbling, but I also firmly believe that we'll all be better, smarter, more published and 10x sexier in five years. GO US!


Aaron Polson said...

Natalie - It will happen. It must.

Katey - I have a hard time yielding to the time/place nature of this particular beast.

Milo - There are many ways to count success. Very true.

Cate - Exactly. Now where's my mansion?

Barry - I think longevity, just hanging in there, is admirable. It's harder than "outsiders" think.

Michael - As one who enjoys reading your work, I hope you continue to enjoy creating it for a long time to come.

Mercedes - I probably need 10X sexier...especially if anyone plans on having my ugly mug on a book jacket.

Rabid Fox said...

Five years? Ugh. I have always hated that question. Most likely because when I look back five years, I'm never in the place I thought I would be. Blerg.

Akasha Savage. said...

Five years time? Mmmm....
I was looking through an old diary of mine from six years ago and one of the things I said was I hoped in five years time I would be a published author! Well, I've had a couple of short stories published....does that count? Still waiting for the Big Break though! :D

Alan W. Davidson said...

I suspect I will still be sitting here molding the chair into the shape of my butt...or is it the other way around? I'm happy to work on the writing skills for a few years and see wear fate takes me. I daresay it won't be long until there is an agent knocking at your door, Aaron.

Danielle Birch said...

I'm more of a short term goal kind of girl, but publication in novel length fiction is good for me.

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